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How to please hawkers

It is a matter of great shame that instead of driving out hawkers from the pavements and providing some relief to harried pedestrians, the mayor has indirectly justified the encroachment (“Hawkers here to stay, says mayor”, February 27). Terming hawkers a “social-economic reality” is tantamount to granting them permission to have a field day on the pavement.

Why doesn’t the mayor admit that the authorities simply do not have the spine to remove hawkers, whose number and political clout are growing with each passing day?

No mayor — be it from Trinamul Congress, CPM or Congress — will have the guts to antagonise the hawkers because of the potential effect on his party’s votes.

Moreover, the city’s hawkers being overwhelmingly non-Bengali, the authorities will always try to keep them in good humour and would not disturb them for fear of being branded “parochial”. The rhetoric of “development” and “modernisation” inevitably takes a backseat when votes and the “sentiments” of other communities are at stake.

It is high time the mayor desists from offering flimsy excuses to hide blatant failures.

Kajal Chatterjee,
Sodepur

Spotlight on health hub mess

Apropos the report “Surgery by torchlight”, February 23, it is shocking that a surgery had to completed at RG Kar Hospital using emergency lights and torches. Power cuts have once again become a part of daily life in Calcutta. There was no respite from power cuts even during Madhyamik. It is time for the power minister to take drastic measures.

Prahlad Agarwala,
Majdia, Nadia

Hurrah for car thieves

We, the pedestrians of Calcutta, are delighted at the increase in car thefts (Cars, bike disappear, February 22). Thanks to finance options, people who cannot afford garage space often end up buying cars, which are then kept parked on the pavement most of the time. These people have made the entire city a giant parking lot. It is simply not understood why the hapless pedestrians have to pay for the unsustainable luxury of people hell-bent on social recognition. So, when such a car is stolen, we feel grateful to the thief for ensuring social justice.

Tapan Pal,
Batanagar

Pioneer cop

It is a matter of great pride that Papiya Sultana Alam has shaken off her shackles and is set to become the first Muslim woman to become a police officer in the state (Ride of the role model, February 26). She is upright, determined to work hard and has strong will power. Few girls show as much courage as she has. We wish her all success in her endeavour.

B.N. Bose,
Dum Dum Park

Papiya Sultana Alam is a role model for all girls in her community. Her indomitable desire to rise above the average must be lauded. Her parents and in-laws deserve credit for being enlightened and liberal. Without their support, Papiya might have led a more conventional life. Educated men in the community must come forward to spare their women family members subjugation and indignity.

Nishith Mitra,
Mahinagar

Muddled drive

Apropos the report “Rage prevents raze”, February 25, the drive by the CMDA to remove encroachments on both sides of EM Bypass was much needed. However, the protest by the oustees and supporters of a political party that stopped the drive was not unjustified. As only unauthorised structures within 125 ft of the road were targeted, a detailed plan should have been chalked out before starting the drive. If that was done, disputes over measurement could have been sorted out.

Those unduly affected by the operation must be compensated. But who would bear the burden? Had the drive been undertaken in a planned manner and impartially, the question of compensation would not have arisen.

Dinabandhu Mukherjee,
Behala

Hospital horror

Apropos the report “Cancer patient denied hospital entry dies after spending night on pavement” (February 29) a government hospital without any emergency facility is unthinkable. Perhaps this tragic death on the pavement will open the eyes of the health minister.

Govinda Bakshi,
Budge Budge

Clarification

Apropos “Homemakers highrise heroes”, March 11, the flat-owners at Singhi Park Apartments and hired goons forcibly confined me and my daughter and held demonstrations regarding maintenance of the buildings. I was released from confinement long after the lift started working.

I am responsible for the maintenance of the premises, according to the agreement. I have all along maintained the premises despite non-payment of maintenance charges by most of the flat-owners, who have been living here since December 1998.

The flat-owners had initiated legal proceedings before the Alipore court challenging the declaration in the deed of conveyance. The court in June 2006 directed the parties to maintain status quo.

Usha Singhi,
Gariahat Road


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