IF one goes into the story of what the Chief Minister wanted for Lahore in the monsoon, and how the bureaucracy has defied him, a new method emerges, the tender. However, there is the same old pattern of a committee, then rules not being used to expedite, but to delay. In short, the CM was told that the city was flooded because of the frequent power outages which prevented the operation of a host of pumping-related facilities. His reply was to get the required power generators. WASA already had 23 generators, rented another 22, but still fell short by 140. It went through the normal tendering process for the shortfall, even though this was supposed to be a top-priority project, and a committee headed by a secretary was set up, which decided after several meetings to go for re-tendering. The original deadline of 45 days has been increased to 90 days, but the process would probably take about four months before the 1000kW, 500kW, 300kW and 200kW generators are actually handed over to WASA. By that time, the current monsoon would be long over, and the new tender is thus for the monsoon of 2009. This is a relatively minor example of something that afflicts our entire national life. The government's decision-making never takes place in enough time for implementation to have the results required, whether it be the new agriculture support prices or the floating of all kinds of tenders, not just for generators. Though the current CM deserves credit for the interest he is showing in Lahore under the monsoon, this inevitably raises the question of how did previous governments react to a phenomenon that occurs every year. It is not as if previous governments had their attention riveted on some other city, as a result of which Lahore got ignored. Officialdom should not use the rules as an excuse to do nothing, but must try and help, not hinder. If Lahore had had its monsoon worries over this season, it would have been some other city's next season, not Lahore's all over again.