Rain havoc calls for ‘study’ trip

In Mumbai, so far, it has only rained for the last two days. The resultant problem for residents are the same as before — flooding of low-lying areas, cancellation of trains, choking up of drains.

People  miss work, students miss classes, commuters miss their buses, trains and planes. Everything is under water. It is hereby recommended that the corporators undertake a study tour to some foreign country, to survey their drainage system!

S S Nair

Caught off guard by first rains

Mumbai’s civic and transportation facilities stood starkly exposed by Wednesday’s first real showers of the season. Water logging at the usual spots on railway tracks? Check. Indefinitely delayed trains? Check. Faulty signals? Check. Leaky platform roofs? Check.  Slippery conditions on railway platforms? Check. And the railways wanted us to pay double the existing fare for such risky travel?

Not that the roads are in any better shape.  Traffic signals are not working in many places. There is water logging everywhere and the gutters are spilling over too. Most roads are dug up with no signs of urgency to finish the job at hand. We have the richest civic corporation in the whole of the country but who would believe it, looking at the prevailing state of affairs?

S N Kabra

Power mismanaged

The World Bank has insisted on improvement and regularisation in the power sector in India.  This  sector incurs heavy losses due to faulty transmission and distribution.  The bank has suggested self-discipline as a measure to the problem.

Coming to our home ground, the MSEDCL has arrears of Rs 1,600 crores. Big shots gaining from such arrears have political influence.  The Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested state electricity board employees for accepting bribes.  The central government should note the mismanaged power entities in the state before implementing its action plan.

Girish Bhagwat

Tapas will prove dear for TMC

Tapas Pal, a leading actor of the Bengali screen of the recent past and now a TMC MP, has threatened the members of the opposing political forces that he would press into service the cadres of his party to rape their womenfolk and behead their men. Very polite language, indeed! Naturally the remark has invited universal condemnation. But her majesty has pardoned him. Without hesitation, it can be said that the TMC will lose lakhs and lakhs of urban votes for such misplaced affection towards the MP. No amount of rigging and muscle-flexing by TMC can prevent this.

N K Das Gupta

In Didi’s footsteps

This is with reference to the hysterical outburst of the TMC’s Tapas Pal. Given the irascible disposition of the party leader, one can’t expect her chelas to be any different. Nevertheless, what is surprising is the continued presence of the only three known level heads in that party, namely, Dinesh Trivedi, Amit Mitra and Mithun Chakraborty in the party.  Maybe subconsciously, they have built up an eventual ‘defamation’ wish for themselves.

R N Shanbhag

What would Chanakya say?

This refers to the news item ‘Modi Govt. Summons US Envoy on Snooping’ (July 3).  It seems we are making a mountain out of a molehill and protesting too much. All powerful countries in the world have been snooping on other countries irrespective of their relation with the country.  We used to hear colourful and daring stories about legendary spy organisations like the erstwhile Russian spy network KGB, American CIA and the deadly Israeli spy agency, Mossad.  Our own RAW has been set up with the intention of collecting external intelligence, counter-terrorism and so on. While protesting thus, India should not forget ours is the land of Chanakya, whose ideas on the role and function of espionage in establishing a strong empire and breaking an enemy country are still relevant in this modern world.  It would serve our country well if our leaders undergo a crash course in ‘Chanakya Neethi.’

 P P Vijayakumar Nair

RTI, not death warrant

Of late, a number of persons who have sought information under the RTI Act have been receiving death threats. A few unfortunate ones have either been severely beaten up or have paid with their lives. Under the circumstances, can the concerned statute be suitably amended so as to allow the relief seeker to remain anonymous by protecting his identity?

Arun Malankar

More heft for anti-dowry law

The Supreme Court judgment on the misuse of anti–dowry laws has wide ramifications. Dowry laws were antiquated and were often viewed with tinted glasses. The police were found wanting in going by the rules of the law in a systematic and correct way. They were, in a way, pressurised because the lax law acted like a double-edged sword, giving the police little chance to do their home work. Instead of treading with caution, they were compelled to act in haste. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which paved the way for arrest without chance of procuring a bail, was bad in law. The court has, therefore, asked the police to follow a ‘checklist’, as envisaged in Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code.  The court’s order to make the magistrate’s sanction mandatory for booking the accused will provide more weight to the anti-dowry provisions. The need to attach materials that necessitated arrests under the law will also keep the police on their toes.

Ganapathi Bhat

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