City of woes
Sir — I have to travel through Loudon and Rawdon Street almost every day. Of late, I have noticed a remarkable improvement in the traffic condition of these two streets because of the restrictions imposed on car parking at certain times of the day. I thank the traffic authorities for the welcome change. However, the residents of Robinson Street, which connects Rawdon Street with Loudon Street, and runs parallel to Shakespeare Sarani on the north, continue to live in misery because of the indifference of the traffic police. Apart from a large number of housing complexes, the Union Nursing Home is also located on this road. Although Robinson Street is designated a ‘No Parking’ zone, car drivers and owners invariably violate rules to park their cars along the entire stretch of the road, causing traffic jams that last all day. Those who walk on this road also face problems because the Calcutta Municipal Corporation has placed an open vat right in front of the Union Nursing Home. More garbage lies outside the vat than inside it. Apart from inconveniencing pedestrians, the garbage dump also pollutes the environment, that too in front of a hospital.
Utpal Kumar Basu, Calcutta
Sir — The pavements from Park Street/Chowringhee crossing till Camac Street have suddenly become filled with hawkers. Park Street has always had newspaper vendors at some specific points but now there seems to be a surge of food stalls and vendors selling Chinese goods, thus narrowing the pavements considerably. Has the CMC decided to bring hawkers back on the streets without informing the citizens?
Mohua Shome, Calcutta
Sir — The transport minister of West Bengal does nothing for the passengers of private buses. Since he has the luxury of travelling in air-conditioned cars, he does not care to think about the passengers who have no option but to use public transport. The seats in these buses are usually tattered, hard as rock and so small that two people cannot sit comfortably side by side. The insides of the buses are also dark and smelly. With the rise in the price of diesel, bus fares will increase soon. If passengers have to pay more and more for travelling, they might at least be assured of some basic comforts.
Tuneer Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — My relatives from Gorakhpur, who had come on a visit to Calcutta recently, had the misfortune of going to the Kalighat temple. They were accosted by the pandas right at the Kalighat Metro station. Since my relatives were unaccustomed to the ways of the city, they were easily duped by the pandas and made to cough up Rs 1,500 for the puja. When one relative argued with the pandas over the amount being charged, he was cursed in the name of god. The local administration and the police are well aware of the way helpless devotees are harassed by the pandas and yet they choose to do nothing. It is disgraceful that such injustice is committed everyday in one of the holiest places of India.
Vivek Singh, Howrah
Sir — I am surprised by the manner in which the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation runs its business. Last year, the WBSTC introduced new bus routes, one of which covered the stretch of the EM bypass from Ruby Hospital to Ultadanga and VIP Road. The buses were quite regular and a godsend to passengers like me, who no longer needed to change buses at Ultadanga. Then one fine Sunday morning, on June 8 to be precise, I found to my utter consternation that these buses had stopped plying. They have remained off the road since then. Such tricks played by the WBSTC leaves passengers with little option but to travel in the ugly, uncomfortable and dangerous private buses.
Arijit Manna, Calcutta
Sir — Before the film starts at the main screen in the Fame multiplex, a modified version of the national anthem is played. I do not want to argue about the merit of the rendition, but I would like to ask whether it is alright to treat the national anthem as just another pop song even while conceding that this is the age of remixes. And, as far as I know, the official duration of Jana gana mana is 120 seconds. This one lasts much longer.
Navin Malhotra, Calcutta
Sir — The autorickshaw menace continues unchecked in Calcutta. The vehicles run helter skelter all over the city, flouting every traffic rule. Most of them run on adulterated fuel, disgorging black smoke. The drivers badmouth passengers on the smallest pretext and refuse to give change. Unless the police take immediate steps against these vehicles and their drivers, the life of the common man will continue to be in peril.
R. Sekar, Visakhapatnam