Friday, October 19, 2012

The Operator

It was an excellent location for a bar; main road, right adjacent to the main business district, close to the railway station and a hop away from the bus terminus. Ideal for the working man, who needed a drink after a hard day’s work and just before getting back home. Only problem was the land had been earmarked for a school.

The wise councilors of the land had allotted the property for a school around a decade ago. And I had spent the past 10 years trying to stall it. A school for slum children didn't have to come up on prime property. Many such schools could be built with tax revenues from the sale of booze.  It was prime property and had to be put to good use. A school could come up anywhere. But, for a bar, it is always about location.

When the tenders for the school had been floated I had successfully managed to keep everyone away through threats and persuasion. No one quoted and the government was forced to look for an alternative. The PWD department was involved, like I’d expected, and was brought in to do the work. Every time a structure came about the quality department would be brought in, find a major fault and order the structure to be demolished. It was my quality department.  

Then elections happened and things became a lot easier as now I was an MLA of the ruling party. I ordered an inquiry in to the cost over-runs on the school project. I raised the issue in the Vidan Sabha and demanded an explanation from the PWD Minister and the Education Minister. The project had over shot its budget by 5 times! The inquiry found serious lapses in the PWD department and the education department. A lot of transfers were ordered and I had my men put in all the important posts.

I took out a rally near the property and denounced the Government’s inability to build a simple school. On stage and in front of a thousand people I announced that my charitable trust would sponsor the project and would volunteer to oversee its completion if the Government allowed it. The Government lauded me and in a major ceremony the property was transferred to my trust.

Then a report from the education department was released where it stated that the property would no longer suffice for a school as the population around the area had increased. There was a need for a much larger property.

One of my philanthropist business friends volunteered to swap his land in the outskirts for the property.  The papers were prepared and the deal was done. I was a hero in the media as I had found solutions to all problems.

Then slowly the property was de-notified as commercial property. Work on the bar began in earnest and in 14 months we were functioning. I’m happy to say that today we run a thriving business. 

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