Be cautious on the Net
| NO-SHOW: The write-up on the fast disappearing cinemas in Calcutta (Rise and fall of dream theatres, July 2) reminded me of my college days when New Market meant watching movies at Metro, Globe, Chaplin or New Empire. I feel it is still possible to make the dream theatres financially viable. The management should be ready to offer comfort, assistance and good service to customers. Standard services such as home delivery of tickets, gaming zones for kids, car parking facilities and advance booking options are necessary to attract audiences. Marketing and brand-building exercises need to be carried out regularly.
Cyber bullying is a serious issue as far as the present generation is concerned. Kudos to Metro for taking up the matter (Mean streak on social networks, July 2).
One should be very cautious while surfing the Net. One should not accept friend requests from strangers. If possible, ask them who they are and why they want to be friends. Try to avoid discussing personal matters on a public forum. Sharing photographs with all is a strict no-no.
Be aware of privacy settings, use them when necessary and block users if they harass you.
If anyone, known or otherwise, posts any comment or photograph related to you that you find offensive, immediately convey your displeasure and request him or her to remove the post.
Ayan Sarkar, Kasba
Stubborn, audacious and outrageous are the words that describe the behaviour of taxi drivers in Calcutta.
While some haggle over the fare and demand exorbitant amounts, others simply ignore.
Some choose distance — too far or too near — as an excuse to refuse passengers. At night, they are either drunk or desperate to earn the extra buck. The city police are more their accomplices than responsible public servants. Seeking help and expecting them to come to your rescue is foolish.
Law and order has deteriorated so much that only the combined efforts of a responsible government and equally sincere and responsible citizens can bring about paribartan in the city.
The police need to pull up their socks and focus on law and order. Victims too should lodge complaints. Gathering public support through the media would be good way to address the problem.
Amrita Mallik, Salt Lake
Do the traffic police exist in Calcutta? Salt Lake Sector V is a free-for-all zone for taxis. I have complained about taxi refusal on several occasions by SMS or by calling up the Lalbazar taxi refusal cell. But no action has ever been taken.
On June 29, I got into a taxi (No. WB 19A 7724) at Bonhooghly on BT Road about 10.30am. The driver was not properly dressed. He was wearing only a vest without sleeves. I ignored that as it was very hot.
When the taxi stopped at a traffic signal near Chiriamore, the driver called up someone from his cellphone and started talking. He continued the conversation even after the light turned green and the vehicle started moving.
I asked him to stop. He replied there was no reason to be scared. When I reminded him of the law against talking on cellphones while driving, he said he did not care. When I said it was dangerous, he said he was least bothered. When I persisted, he rudely told me to get off his taxi.
I asked him to park the taxi and speak if it was an emergency. He paid no heed. When I threatened to complain, he said he was not afraid.
On weekday afternoon in a mid-June, I was struggling to get a taxi from the area near Park Street police station.
Not a single taxi slowed down when I waved at them to stop. They just sped past. When a taxi did stop finally, the driver refused to go when he heard where I wanted to go.
After half an hour of trying in vain, I asked a policeman standing nearby to do something.
The police officer joined me and when a taxi came into view, he stepped into the middle of the street to stop it. The taxi driver did not dare refuse us in front of him. I realised that not all policemen are irresponsible.
It is heartening to see that the traffic department has taken action against the errant taxi driver after the incident was highlighted by Metro.
Only time will tell if the authorities are serious about curbing this menace or if this was just a knee-jerk reaction to the report.
In any case, suspending the driver’s licence for six months will hardly act as a deterrent. The man will just go and get another licence! A more effective remedy would be to suspend the registration of the vehicle for six months. Such action would hurt the owners of the taxis and they would ensure their drivers act in a responsible manner.
Taxi refusal has become a regular affair in Calcutta. There is hardly any person who has not been refused by a taxi driver.
On June 9, I asked a taxi (WB 04E - 5118) parked near Belgachhia Metro station to take me to Howrah AC market. The driver agreed to go but only if I paid him Rs 200. (The usual fare is around Rs 90). A passerby asked me to lodge a complaint. When I called up the Lalbazar control room, the officer who received the call replied “dekhchi” and disconnected the phone. There was no reply when I called a second time.
Thankfully it was not late at night and so I could reach my destination by an alternative mode of transport.
I thank Metro for publishing reports on taxi refusal and misbehaviour of taxi drivers. I regularly travel by taxi and face at least 10 refusals every day. Even if I lodge a complaint, the cops do not bother to take any action against the taxi drivers.
If I try to get a taxi from MG Road for Howrah Jute Mill around 5pm to 7pm, I have to face at least 20 refusals or pay double the fare.
I have heard that taxi unions want an increase in taxi fares. I doubt if increasing the fare would ensure that drivers behave well.
If no serious action is taken against them, then the day is not far way when taxi drivers start beating up passengers.
I thank Metro for highlighting taxi refusal so strongly. We are all hoping in vain for the state government and the city police to put an end to our taxi sufferings.
How many incidents do we need to highlight for the administration to act?
I stay on CIT Road and my office is at Minto Park. A few days ago, I was refused by nearly eight taxis while returning home around 8.30pm. One of them demanded Rs 20 extra.
When I tried to argue that the distance I needed to cover was hardly 3km he told me that I should thank my stars that he had agreed to take me.
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