Defy nature at your own peril

The tragedy at Malin village near Pune is heartbreaking.  Of course, this was only yet another landslide in the Western Ghats.  A number of such incidents have taken place in the past, though not as many lives were lost. But who cares for the loss of human life in this country? NGOs from Pune and elsewhere had warned about this disaster in the making, but the authorities did not pay attention. It is our MPs, MLAs, and both state and central officers who are to be held responsible for this disaster. The Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha speaker comes from the area. Why had he not taken note of the NGOs’ letters? If one looks at the ghats, from Vasai Creek to Talasari on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. One finds stone quarries along the way. Many shops and other construction, mostly unauthorised, have come up.  More disasters are waiting to happen. So if we continue to sleep in spite of the warnings from NGOs, whom will you blame? In the last 20 years, some 50,000 thousand trees have been felled in the Western Ghats along Vasai. If no one takes note of such crimes, how long before we face the wrath of nature?

 Marcus Dabre  

Manmade disaster

Once upon a time, there was a village named Malin in Ambegaon Taluka, Pune district and about 800 people lived there. But on July 30, 2014, the greatest-ever natural tragedy took place and the entire village, with 44 houses and at least 150 people, was buried after torrential rains followed by a huge landslide. It is alleged that this manmade disaster was a result of massive quarrying and other illegal activities, such as flattening of the hill slopes for cultivation/farming. Erecting windmills on the hilltops was also a point to be noted. The irony is that the village was constructing a crematorium on the river banks and now, that very same crematorium is being used to cremate the bodies.

Vijay D Patil

Kerry’s praise means business

Recently, the US Secretary of State John Kerry praised our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s national Mantra ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’ for India’s bright future by calling it a ‘great vision.’ It’s a globally known fact that the Americans are the best salesmen in the whole world. Similarly, the Obama administration will do everything with the sole motive of capturing rural, as well as urban markets of India to sell all its products and services, thereby boosting US economic prospects. The US has trade-related interests all across the globe, always. We also need not buy any uranium from the US or any other country for our power needs. It’s a proven fact that solar power is the safest as well as the cheapest of all, where we have nothing to buy from anyone. We get sunshine for at least ten months of the year, which is sufficient to generate solar power.

Hansraj Bhat

Richest civic body, poor services

The BMC must be sacked, just for its disastrous management of the city in yesterday’s downpour. The potholes at Marine Drive, the overflowing drains — it was total chaos. Why is no one pulling it up?

The richest organisation in India has failed Mumbaikars once again. Most signals were shut down, adding to the chaos.

R S Mani

Our hearty stamp of approval

At last the Maharashtra Government has set up its hassle-free online registration for stamp duty and registration of documents, a creditable achievement indeed!

Earlier, registration and stamp duty payment was a nightmare, with middle men, cash transactions and corruption at all levels in the department.

Now these problems can be avoided, documents will be safe and cash need not change hands, all of which will bring relief and cheer to the people.

Same Online system of payment and approvals in building proposals dept must be introduced in the Municipal Corporation as the industry is facing great hardships due to red tape and corruption and projects get delayed !

K V Satyamurty

All that a friend could do

About a year and half ago, in front of his eyes, his girlfriend was brutally raped by six criminals in a running bus in Delhi.  He fought till the time he was beaten black and blue with an iron rod.  They broke his leg, robbed him, snatched his mobile and left him almost naked.

 Then on that chilly cold night, he was thrown out of the running bus along with his girlfriend.  They were naked, drained, exhausted and bleeding for different reasons.

He tried to stop passing cars and kept begging for a shawl to wrap his naked girlfriend, which he finally got after 40 minutes.  Then he took her to the hospital, admitted her, called the police, called her parents and did everything that a true friend

would do.

He could have fled from the bus – he did not. He could have left her on the road – he did not. He could have claimed fame and money, but he did not. He could have become the most frequently seen face in the electronic media in exchange for money – he did not.  If this is not friendship, then what else is?

This young man lives on in anonymity, but here’s a thought: Why should we celebrate Friendship Day on August 3? Instead, we should celebrate this day on December 16 every year, to salute his spirit.

S Krishna Kumar 

Will be lost in translation

No doubt, ‘Surrender not’ (August 1) is a hard-hitting editorial. But does Rajnath Singh understand English, or will he bank on

someone to translate it into Hindi or Bhojpuri or Magadhi and in the process get the meaning and the substance of the edit completely distorted and diluted? Anti-English translators are good at such tricks.

All in all, nonsensical nationalism and regionalism are rearing their heads in the place of much-wanted internationalism and pragmatism as practised by the Congress-UPA government as a sound administrative legacy.

R N Shanbhag

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