India is presently undergoing a very positive stage, with many states transiting to a phase of development. One of the best examples of this change across India is the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state which once had the largest area was bifurcated when the state of Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh. However, despite this bifurcation, Uttar Pradesh elects the maximum number of lawmakers to parliament. The state which is the most populous among all the 29 states of India, has many distinctive characteristics. It has an international border with the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal and also shares borders with nine Indian states. Perhaps one of the most culturally important dimensions is the fact that the river Ganga and Yamuna flow through the state of Uttar Pradesh.
These rivers are as important to India as the Nile is to Egypt. The historic city of prayagraj which was earlier known as Allahabad is famous for the confluence of the two rivers which merge into a single river. However, despite the cultural importance of the river, that ruled the state it took very little care about the health of the river resulting in incredibly high levels of pollution. The inaction of the government it and the lack of determination ended in the quality of water in the river hitting an all-time low. The present dispensation has taken laudable initiatives to bring back the glory of the river. The pollution control board has taken state initiatives to shut down hundreds of industries that were polluting the river. Tanneries that were on the banks of different rivers contributed to the pollution by discharging of untreated effluents. This was permitted earlier because of the politician and businessman nexus in the state.
A host of other measures have helped to ensure that the state is restored to its natural glory. The travel and tourism sector is one of the key contributors to the economy of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It employees a significant percentage of people in direct and indirect jobs, and earns foreign exchange for the nation. A large number of tourist flock to the state are domestic as well as international tourist. The biggest event hosted by the state is the Kumbh Mela which witnesses a footfall of millions of individuals from all over the globe. The administration has done a commendable job in managing the event successfully, taking care of the sanitation, accommodation, food and security needs during the event. For the smooth conduct of the event, the administration typically calls for tenders for the supply of various articles and materials required for providing accommodation and food to the visitors. Criminals have managed to take advantage of this process and floated tenders the name of the tourism department.
These fake tenders called for bids from investors and companies that were involved in the supply of articles. The businesses were contacted by individuals who posed as officials from the tourism department. To the in posters claimed to assist the businesses in receiving the order for the supply of articles. In return for making this arrangement, the imposters demanded a huge sum of money. This resulted in companies paying bribes in the hope of receiving the order. As the imposters turned out to be fake, the companies lost the money.
Similarly and agency in Mumbai that was involved in the making of video documentaries was defrauded of a huge sum of money by posters who claimed to be from the tourism department. These two incidents clearly point out that criminals are taking advantage of government initiatives in promoting the state. It is a well-known fact that the state of Uttar Pradesh is aggressively promoting itself as a destination for businesses and for the tourism sector. As a result of this, the businesses considered the bids to be genuine, ending up parting with huge amounts.
This is a clear indication that the stranglehold of politicians and criminals over the administrative machinery of the state still remains. This undesirable nexus between criminals, politicians, and bureaucrats is the reason why the state of Uttar Pradesh has remained underdeveloped till date. The narrative is in the statistics – the state of Uttar Pradesh is ranked 28th in terms of human development index, out of 29 states. This is precisely why the state of Uttar Pradesh has not performed at par with other states in India. Despite a large number of bureaucrats who join the central administrative services from the state of up, the state is itself relatively backward, due to the nexus between politicians and criminals into control the administration.
Despite the change in governments, the criminals continue to act with impunity and the most brazen manner. This is because of the fact that most criminals enjoy the patronage of political leaders by hopping from party to party. This is done in an effort to avail protection from the party in power. In the case of the Kumbh Mela fake tenders, the main perpetrators of the crime controlled the operation from behind bars. This is a clear indication of the extent to which the network is operative in the state administration.
While the government is keen to get to the bottom of the conspiracy by carrying out detailed investigations, it is important for businesses to ensure that they do not fall prey to the activities of criminals. This can be achieved by not encouraging or responding to proposals from power brokers claim to be connected to political powers. Uttar Pradesh government has put in place a proper system for seeking and receiving approvals related to various ministries and departments. Businesses and entities do well to use these offices and departments for the purpose of interaction with ministries and administration. This will prevent businesses from big defrauded by criminals who still enjoy influence and political patronage.
The state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the hottest destinations when it comes to business opportunities for the services sector and agriculture. The emphasis of the government is on tourism and expanding infrastructure in the state. This effectively opens up an ocean of opportunities for businesses. However, businesses need to be careful about dealing with individuals, regardless of the political connections and offer made. The success of a business is determined not by the underhand dealings which give it lucrative contracts, but the honest dealings and straight forward business processes that result in positive business outcomes. Additionally, this also helps businesses to insulate themselves from possible fraudulent activities of criminals.