Focus on urban woes
Sir – The decision of a local court to issue showcause notice to Facebook regarding an open letter posted by an Odisha professor residing in Scotland on the site targeting state CPI(M) secretary Janardan Pati is a matter of grave concern.
Social networking sites should serve as a tool for social change and a forum for citizens to express themselves. Through these sites, many revolutions have taken place, the latest being overthrowing the autocratic rule in Egypt,
However, we, the citizens of the largest democracy in the world, are threatened with legal consequences if we express ourselves and our comments are labelled as “libellous”!
Similar incidents have taken place in Bengal, which proved how we are at the mercy of our political leaders, and that we don’t have freedom of speech or expression in the truest form.
Without any proper mechanism to convey our problems to the top shots of our government, people would soon isolate themselves from participating in political processes.
Rashmi Ranjan Samal, student, Ravenshaw University, (via e-mail)
Violence against women
Sir – Two recent incidents of inhuman treatment towards women — throwing a woman off a bridge near Jobra, Cuttack, and a man pushing his wife from a three-storey building in Bhubaneswar — reflect the crude picture of a static social culture in Odisha despite economic prosperity and IT boom.
The crime graph against women, especially in urban areas, is growing even though we have a women’s police station in the state capital.
I strongly feel that our social orientation and educational values must be reformed so that our perception towards women can be changed.
These values must be ingrained at the school level so that the next generation at least is sensitive to women-related issues.
Sujata Rath, Old Town, Bhubaneswar
Sir – The area near the Bhubaneswar railway station is getting worse by the day. The sight of heaps of garbage, stinking sewage water, animal faeces and sundry junk on the potholed roads leading to the station can make anyone sick.
If this is the condition in a prime location — the entry point to the Temple City — one can well imagine about other areas of the capital.
I have taken several photographs of the area that bear testimony to the pathetic state of affairs and apathy of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and other bodies such as Bhubaneswar Development Authority, the departments of general administration and public works.
Even the police commissionerate seem to have turned a blind eye to this.
Are we living in the state capital or in some slum?
Soumesh Pati, Bhubaneswar
Sir – There was a notified vegetable market in Saheed Nagar area under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) where around 500 vendors were earning their livelihood.
The BMC and a private builder entered into an agreement, according to which, post construction of an apartment complex, the private builder was to provide space to BMC in order to rehabilitate the ousted vendors.
Unfortunately, the builder, instead of first rehabilitating the ousted vendors, constructed the residential apartments.
He has already sold the commercial complex and is yet to handover to the BMC its share. But there is nobody to question him.
Seeing the delay, a group of senior citizens of Saheed Nagar had filed a public interest litigation in the Orissa High Court, praying for the construction of the vegetable market first.
The court had disposed off the case with a direction that the construction of the market should be over by 2009.
However, it is yet to see the light of the day.
The ousted vendors have even encroached two areas demarcated as “notified parks”.
I, on behalf of the residents of Saheed Nagar, request you to get to the bottom of this issue and report about the present status of the vegetable market.
Srinivas Patnaik, advocate, Orissa High Court