Defunct machines, callous masters
| Against the turn: A rickshaw-puller tries to mend his wheel
While inaugurating private health clinics, the chief minister and health minister of West Bengal often declare that the healthcare in the state is in great shape, even as simple life-saving machines in government hospitals lie defunct for months (Cancer care in a shambles, August 18).
It is difficult to understand how the ministers can claim that the healthcare system is improving and promise further improvements when the radiotherapy machine in a state hospital could stay non-functional for more than seven months. Will a terminally ill patient be spared his life because the powers that be have promised that 'the situation will improve soon'
One can imagine the reason behind the government laxity in repairing broken-down life-saving machines in state hospitals. Most people would give everything they have to save the life of a loved one. When a machine in a government hospital stops functioning and a patient is in immediate need of that machine, his relatives would not think twice about taking him to one of the burgeoning private clinics by paying a hefty amount.
Little wonder that nobody in the medical community is interested in fixing the machines in state hospitals.
Head of radiotherapy at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital Subir Ganguly has claimed that he had sent '10 letters' to the health department in seven months, complaining about the defunct radiotherapy machine. The inaction on the part of the department underscores the lack of compassion of its heads towards the patients.
But what kept Ganguly from making public the response, or the lack of it, of the health department to his complaints' Who should be held accountable if a cancer patient dies because of the inordinate delay in fixing the machine'
It is apparent that no checks and balances exist in the state healthcare delivery system. Unless radical changes are made in the administration and negligent doctors and other employees of the health department are punished for their misdeeds, healthcare in Bengal will continue to remain in a shambles.
Kunal Saha, Heritage wheels
Columbus, Ohio .
The decision to do away with hand-pulled rickshaws will undoubtedly pain many Calcuttans (Bye rickshaw, hi auto, August 17). The vehicle is considered as much a part of the city's heritage as Victoria Memorial and Howrah bridge. It would be inhuman if the rickshaw-pullers are not allowed to operate in the city without being provided alternative means of livelihood.
Perhaps the most pertinent question in this context is whether the socio-economic character of the city has now improved so much that the hand-pulled rickshaws need to be banned'
It certainly does not appear so from footpaths dotted with hawkers' stalls forcing pedestrians to risk life and limb on the carriageways. The ravaged tram tracks and rampant pollution also do not project a good image of Calcutta.
The authorities should remember that hand-pulled rickshaws are the only modes of transport available to common people on waterlogged streets. Perhaps, they should retain them till they can do away with water-logging.
The government needs to weigh the pros and cons before replacing hand-pulled rickshaws with autorickshaws. Especially since the transport minister is prone to overlook lawlessness on the part of the autorickshaws on humanitarian grounds.
How about allowing rickshaws to ply only in bylanes' If they are not allowed to do so, many aged people would face difficulties in reaching destinations within narrow lanes and bylanes.
Since hand-pulled rickshaws are slow for obvious reasons, it is justified to pull them off road. Cycle-rickshaws could replace them.
Mohesh Chaudhuri Lane.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has come up with a ludicrous justification of his decision to do away with hand-pulled rickshaws.
Trams also cause traffic jams and cost the state exchequer crores of rupees, but continue to ply in the city. The government would do well to first remove trams from city roads.
Cycle-rickshaws and battery-operated rickshaws are the right replacements for hand-pulled rickshaws. Two cycle-rickshaws take up the space of one taxi. They can also travel faster than hand-pulled rickshaws.
Shiv Shanker Almal,
Lower Rawdon Street.
Apropos the report 'Dengue toll climbs to seven', August 22, the spread of the disease in various parts of the city is a cause for concern. The government and the civic bodies must take up spraying of insecticides and cleanliness drives on a war footing.
Inayat Hussain, Multi-ride ticket
Apropos 'Bus link to underground', August 21, to attract more passengers, Metro Railways should sell tickets for buses that connect to the station.
Hara Lal Chakraborty, Medical clean-up
Apropos the report 'Docs join medical neglect fight', August 22, it is wonderful that medicos have decided to protest against clinical laxity. Hopefully, more doctors would join the fight. The medical councils, too, have a vital role to play. They should crack down on doctors guilty of unfair practices.
Sourish Misra, Toppers' stop
I was surprised to read that even toppers at the secondary level fail to do well in the joint entrance examination (Right texts key to JEE success, August 18). I think the students resort to short-cuts failing to cope with the expectations of the guardians. Misguidance also contributes to failure. The guardians need to employ experienced teachers and provide wards with quality study material.
Ratan Kumar Halder,
Apropos 'Mega puja in jeopardy', September 9, CrPC 144(2) has been ordered by the judicial magistrate, Alipore, to the officer-in-charge, Lake police station, for both parties ' the Society and the Puja committee ' to maintain peace. An inquiry by the Registrar of Co-operative Society is also in progress against the Society.
Jodhpur Park Institute & Jodhpur Park Saradiya Utsav Committee.
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