Information, whatsoever, is important. It is based on the available information with which we make our choices or decisions.
However, not just information, the timely dissemination of information is important. Disseminating proper information on a timely basis is important too. Unfortunately, this is what some of our concerned government agencies seem to be failing in doing so.
Take for an example, the update on the blacktopping works for the roads at the flyover, Druk School and the Swimming Pool junctions that was posted on Facebook by Thimphu Thromde on Wednesday morning. It stated that blacktopping in these three areas have almost been completed and urged people to be careful while driving as some areas are still under construction.
Assuming that all works were completed, a huge queue of vehicles were there on Wednesday and Thursday evening as drivers tried to maneuver through those areas, bringing traffic to almost a halt. Some had to turn back to avoid the traffic problems there. Such a scenario could have been averted if the Thimphu Thromde had been pragmatic to provide information only when all works were complete.
Similarly, many of the problems that the commuters encountered earlier this month on September 14 after the road stretch at Khelekha (27km away from Wangdue) was washed away could have been averted if the Department of Roads (DoR) was sensible enough to provide timely information on the road conditions.
A wee hour Facebook post from the DoR stated that the road at Khelekha would be closed from 7am to 12 noon on that day to continue work so that vehicles could move. However, it was only towards late evening that vehicles were allowed to move. Some who had been waiting from 12 noon could maneuver across the stretch only by 8-9pm.
A timely and a proper dissemination of information by the DoR wouldn’t have people wasting hours on the road; waiting. It would have also helped avert the ruckus and commotion that were there because of the stranded vehicles and passengers. How much effort does it take if the DoR was to mention that it couldn’t open the road at 12 noon as earlier stated? It could then give an approximate timing when the DoR would accomplish the work.
Information dissemination by some public agencies today are often construed as something that is more than or beyond public service. They feel that they are doing more than what they should be. They feel that they are doing a favor by doing these, which is especially not a healthy notion.
As public servants, we must think about the interest of the public and the public good. If accurate and timely information could be beneficial to the public, we shouldn’t hesitate to share such information. Again the timing of the information is important too.