Oh, to lounge on a couch called bandh
| Too little, too late? A watery tract near EM Bypass which, according to the residents of an adjacent housing estate, is actually a water body being filled up; (below) the mayor inspects a water body in Kasba that was reclaimed by the civic body. Telegraph pictures
Apropos the report “The cowardice of Calcutta”, February 7, people who failed to turn up for work on the bandh day due to blockades on railway tracks can certainly be excused, but the rest are cowards and opportunists.
Government employees are well aware of the fact that their absence would not call for a showcause notice from the authorities. They do not even have to go without a day’s pay or apply for casual leave. Bandhs, whether they are called by the ruling party or the Opposition, are exploited to the hilt by government employees as no-work, full-pay days.
Equally condemnable is the attitude of the bunch of cowards who seek refuge indoors on a bandh, even if it has been called by a party with very negligible muscle.
Unless workers show courage and integrity and make an active effort to be at their workplaces on bandhs and the authorities penalise those who do not turn up, strikes will continue to bleed the state dry.
Bleed ponds with bribes
Strange are the ways of the state government. After a couple of decades of outrageous exploitation of water bodies by party cadre and pet promoters, it now proposes to undertake a survey of water bodies under the civic authorities, including the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC set to draw up list of ponds, January 30). The survey would be a farce like the government’s other belated actions.
The move will hardly help the water bodies that have been filled up by promoters after making changes in the records with the help of unscrupulous civic workers. Even burial grounds have reportedly been converted into residential plots.
The survey, if it is not put off on a flimsy excuse, will only make the party cadre richer. They will no doubt offer to alter government records for a bribe.
Apropos the report “Sisters fight molestors”, having been in similar situations myself, I salute the duo. Very few women fight back against their tormentors. The police did a commendable job in the case but their prompt action don’t prove that the city streets are safe.
Address not given
The report “Schoolboy duo in death shade”, February 13, speaks volumes about the inefficiency of the city police. Had police surveillance on the street been strong, tragedy would not have befallen Bibek Sarkar and Amit Kumar Dubey.
There are so many rules and laws to control traffic, but police hardly apply them. The officers are more interested in accepting bribes from those who flout the law. As a result, reckless driving has become the norm. The chief minister should look into the matter immediately.
Apropos the report “Death curse on two families”, February 12, Hridesh and Dilesh Shaw have lost their father, mother and sister to the greed of landlord Kashinath Jaiswal. This is the dark side of the real estate boom. Steps should be taken to rein in realtors.
Dum Dum Park
The report “Cops thrash ‘slow’ cabbie”, February 16, did not come as a surprise. It is common for traffic sergeants and constables to harass and extort money from taxi and truck drivers. The policemen who beat up the taxi driver should be suspended immediately, pending inquiry. The police force is riddled with corruption at all levels and needs to be cleansed.
The order by the executive magistrate of Alipore court banning political activity within 200 metres of BM Birla Heart Research Centre and Calcutta Medical Research Institute is welcome (Rally ban at hospitals, February 9). There should not be any disruption in health services under any condition. Otherwise, lives will be at stake. Grievances of hospital employees need to be sorted out through negotiations. The authorities, too, should promptly look into employees’ problems to avoid a face-off.
Apropos the report “English wing debut from primary stage”, February 14, it is good that the state government has finally decided to start English-medium education from the primary level at select schools. I hope the move turns out to be more than a political gimmick. English education should be started in rural schools as well. To make the project successful, the state government should allot adequate funds and build proper infrastructure.
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