Sir — Chit funds are mushrooming all over the state, luring people with the promise of high returns. But in reality, thousands of investors will not get their money back. It is clear that the chit funds are fleecing depositors. Hence, the utter lack of concern on the part of the state government is shocking. A bill to curb the menace of chit funds was passed in the assembly during the Left Front regime and sent for presidential approval. But over two years have elapsed since then. There must be an all-out effort to ban such dubious financial agencies.
Saptarsi Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — This refers to the article, “Waiting for sunrise” (Feb 6), by Dipankar Dasgupta. After the loss of the Nano plant in Singur — a step which would have helped set up a large number of ancillary units — there is not much possibility of large industry coming up near Calcutta. However, such industries can come up in Birbhum, Purulia and in parts of Midnapore — districts in which large, but less productive, tracts of land are available. Unfortunately, the requisite infrastructure is missing in most of these places.
West Bengal’s hope lies in the success of small- scale industries and in tourism. The state has everything that tourists ask for — mountains, rivers, the sea, forests, and so on. For the religious minded, there is also the possibility of a darshan of Kali at famous shrines. Calcutta also serves as the gateway to the Buddhist shrines in Bihar.
For small-scale industries, the government ought to release the land that lies inside closed factories with the help of liquidation. Such a step would not only release land but also help generate the growth of modern industrial units. Bengal can think of setting up industrial units catering to food processing, engineering, garments, leather goods and computers. Labour costs in Bengal are much lower. If a suitable climate is created, major investments can take place. But will the government move in the right direction?
Ranabir Chakraborty, Calcutta
Sir — Obtaining a passport online without the help of agents is not possible. Similarly, obtaining a faultless police verification report is impossible without the payment of bribes.
I applied for a passport online for my wife. After a few days, the police called my wife over the phone and instructed her to appear in the local thana for the purpose of verification. Accordingly, my wife and I went to the police station with all the relevant documents. After the verification process got over, we were told that the police should not be held responsible if the verification report was not submitted on time.
However, we decided not to entertain this covert request for a bribe and returned home. After that day, periodic checks online revealed that the status of the application was under review at the regional passport office. One morning, we decided to visit the office at Brabourne Road to know the fate of my wife’s passport. The official informed us that the police had not sent a proper report regarding my wife’s citizenship. After I showed him the necessary documents that declared that my wife was a bona fide citizen, we were told that the documents would be returned for re-verification. More than a month has passed, but we have not received the passport. Why should applicants be made to run from pillar to post by the police and other officials even when they possess the requisite documents?
Mihir Kanungo, Calcutta