Striking a balance

A consortium of a few Navratna PSUs has acquired a coal block with a huge reserve of superior grade coal in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, from Rio Tinto, the Australian mining behemoth. The coal is of such rich quality that it will not need to be treated in coal washeries. A huge cost-saving measure for industries which heavily depend on coal. But after its unloading in any suitable port, it will need a dedicated freight corridor to the various plant sites, to derive the optimum cost benefit of such an import. And the laying of the freight corridor will require tracts of land on both sides of the railway line. This acquisition of land will definitely interfere with the adjoining environment.

Keeping the ecology intact and the development of infrastructure cannot go hand in hand. In order to survive in this fiercely competitive world, you cannot avoid the development of infrastructure. Senseless planning like concretising every patch of green in a big housing complex and the felling of large trees surreptitiously are the main enemies of ecological balance.

 N K Das Gupta

Noisy fringe elements

The two major contenders for power in Maharashtra, viz. the Cong-NCP and the SS-BJP alliances are both facing problems over seat adjustments. The saffron front consists of some fringe parties who are asking to bite more than they can chew. It is now for the respective leaders of the Hindutva Mahayuti to call their bluff even at the risk of their quitting the alliance. Let them approach the ‘secular Aghadi’ with their exorbitant wish list. If the Congress-NCP combine refuses to allot them the desired seats, they may form a third front, in which case they run the risk of getting totally obliterated from the political scene in the state.

 Vineet Phadtare

Cricket needs a tennis tweak

How can the BCCI take away the captaincy from M S Dhoni in the near future, his possible replacement is not visible on the horizon. Plus, as a batsman he has scored runs more than most of specialist batsmen.

In such a situation, I have one suggestion to make. As the BCCI is a major and strong power in world cricket, it should persuade other boards to agree to adopt a new system of having a non-playing captain (like in tennis).

The off-the-field skipper can give instructions to the on-the-field one. This may help our team. No harm in trying.

S Chad

Nothing to gloat about

There is no denying that BJP did not rise to the expectations of its fans in the just concluded bypolls in various states.

However, by no means can this be termed

as ‘Modi’s failure in 100-days test’ (August 26).

On the contrary, it is just a consolation prize

for the opposition parties that were dumped

by the electorate in the general elections.

The bypoll results once again proved

that the huge success the BJP achieved in

the Lok Sabha elections was due to the

combined efforts of the well-oiled RSS

machinery at the grassroot level and Narendra Modi’s charisma, which were missing in these bypolls.

 P P Vijayakumar Nair

Missing that Modi touch?

It‘s not right to conclude that winning bye-elections is the same as winning a general election. But in the recent past, it has been observed that after forming the government, the winning parties always won majority of the bypolls, so why has the BJP-led NDA failed? Because it has failed to control the high market price of daily necessities, instead, embarking on the campaign to oust governors, going contrary to the promises.

‘Even one single person in the opposition is important to us,’ they say, but are not ready to give the Leader of the Opposition status to the next largest party.

And take a look at the way party veterans like L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh and others are being treated.

The one-man Narendra Modi show  is another cause for the loss of votes. But for many, the appointment of Amit Shah as the BJP President is another reason for the loss of confidence of the public.

However, after Uttarakhand’s 3-0, the Congress may have got some oxygen, but has no reason to rejoice. Hopefully, the Congress understands realities. The bottomline in this bye-election is that without the help of its ‘Pradhan Sevak’, it will be difficult for the NDA to win Haryana, Jharkhand or Maharashtra.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

Pray they go unanswered

With reference to the news item captioned “Unanswered prayers may trigger anxiety” (August 14), the following quote from Oscar Wilde may be in order: Prayers should never be answered because if they are, they will cease to be prayers and will become correspondence.

C A L Mulangunnathukavu

Pending justice

With reference to V Gangadhar’s article, ‘Long arm of the law trips’ (August 26), the present police commissioner, Rakesh Maria, has proven his capability in many ways — by increasing night patrols, appointing more beat marshals, easy availability of senior officers to hear public grievances, visibility of policemen on the roads, departmental action against erring policemen and so on.

The BJP’s silence on the Satyapal Singh episode is indeed, shocking.

And it is annoying that the case of Salman Khan has been pending for the last 12 years, with a surprise element cropping in every time retrial begins. No authority is taking responsibility for missing papers in the case. It is high time the court interferes, so that the case comes to its logical conclusion without any further delay. Then there is the blackbuck hunting case which is still pending.

S K Venkateshan

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