Risk in a bottle
Sir — Bottled water is no longer safe. The Centre for Science and Environment tested two bottles each of 17 leading drinking water brands. Traces of Lindane, which damages the nervous system, liver and kidneys and may be a carcinogen, were found in most of the samples. They were also found to contain banned pesticides like DDT and Endosulphan. This being the case, bottled water cannot be considered a sustainable alternative to tap water. The government should take steps to reduce pesticide concentration in water.
Niamul Hossain Mallick, Katwa, Burdwan
Sir— It is not possible to judge from the details provided in the website of the Indian Railways (www.indianrail.gov.in) whether a particular train has a pantry car or not. This information is of utmost importance to people who undertake long train journeys covering hundreds of kilometres.
Even if the trains have pantry cars, the food provided is often sub-standard. Passengers are not given much of a choice in terms of the items on offer. The railways may introduce simple variations to the menu for breakfast and lunch or dinner for the sake of the passengers.
Arindam Ghosh, Nagpur
Sir — The Indian Railways has introduced a new system of ‘premium parking’ at the Ajmeri Gate side of the New Delhi railway station. An exorbitant amount of Rs 60 per entry for the first two hours is being charged, while the charge for normal parking remains Rs 10 per entry. But ever since premium parking came into being, there is almost always a ‘Parking Full’ board at the usual car parking lot, even in the early hours of the morning or late at night. This forces people to use premium parking at six times the cost of normal parking. It is to be noted that there used to be sufficient parking space at the railway station before premium parking was introduced. The railway authorities should immediately do away with this system, which loots the public indirectly.
The authorities at the Ajmeri Gate side of the railway station should also ensure the sale of platform tickets round the clock from the ground-floor counters. At present, a hand-written paper is pasted on the ground-floor counters, guiding people to the first floor to buy platform tickets. This causes great difficulty, especially for ladies and senior citizens. As it is, people going to railway stations are usually in a hurry, and so, rushing to the first floor is often a problem.
Madhu Agrawal, Dariba, Delhi
Sir — Every day, I admire the huge statue of Rana Pratap Singh at the Central Avenue-Poddar Court crossing. Rana Pratap is a great national hero whose heroic fight against the Mughals is still remembered with reverence. But paying respect to a hero does not necessarily mean disrespecting another. Very few people would notice the tiny, neglected statue of Subhas Chandra Bose standing next to that of Rana Pratap.
I do not want to belittle Rana Pratap. But is Bose not a national hero too? I always feel depressed on seeing Bose’s statue. Bengalis are perhaps the only people in India who do not care to show enough respect to their heroes. I think Bose’s statue should be shifted elsewhere and cleaned immediately.
Anindya Pal, Calcutta