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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Letters to the Editor: Wealthy couple in Maine poison trees to secure ocean view

Readers write in from Calcutta, Dindigul, Hooghly and Nainital

The Editorial Board Published 24.06.24, 07:08 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Crime scene

Sir — Suspicious deaths in an idyllic seaside community and sleuthing that unearths the use of poison sound like the plot of a classic murder mystery. But the victims in this whodunnit in Maine, United States of America, are trees. A wealthy couple allegedly poisoned their neighbour’s trees to secure a million-dollar view of the bay. To make matters worse, the herbicide used to poison the trees has leached into a neighbouring park. Unfor­tunately, the story has an anti-climactic ending. While everyone knows who the culprits are, they will get off with paying a fine because killing trees, shockingly, is not a criminal offence.

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Indranil Chatterjee, Calcutta

Caught napping

Sir — The decision of the Union health ministry to postpone the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Postgraduate the day before the examination was scheduled to be held is condemnable. This government is playing fast and loose with the futures of lakhs of aspirants who have been preparing for this exam for years. Who will compensate the aspirants, many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds, for the resources they used to reach the exam centres? While maintaining the integrity of an exam is of paramount importance, such hasty decisions cannot be tolerated. The government must swiftly address the shortcomings and strive to restore people’s faith in the examination process.

M. Rishidev, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu

Sir — The controversy around the NEET-Undergratuate exam, as well as the last-minute cancellation of the NEET-PG exam, is appalling. The matter should be dealt with urgently and in all seriousness to maintain the credibility of these exams. The Opposition should also offer constructive cooperation rather than engage in petty politics.

Satish Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — In a significant development, the director-general of the National Testing Agency, Subodh Kumar Singh, was removed by the government. Over the past two months, the NTA has faced allegations of irregularities and paper leaks in two major exams: the NEET-UG and the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test. However, Singh cannot be the only one responsible for the fiascos. The government has to revamp the organisational structure of the NTA.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — It seems as though the Government of India has been napping when it comes to the state of education in the country. It has failed to ensure transparency in the examination process. The new date for the NEET-PG 2024 should be announced forthwith and students should be provided with the means to travel to their examination centres.

Arun Kumar Baksi, Calcutta

Sir — The NTA was established by the Bharatiya Janata Party government in 2017 to conduct entrance tests for various professional courses. Academics have long questioned its composition and competence. It is typical of this government to not consult all the stakeholders on the issue and take a unilateral decision. One hopes the coalition government at the Centre now forces the BJP to mend its ways.

Tapan Dutta, Calcutta

Wrongly detained

Sir — A Delhi trial court had granted bail to the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, citing the lack of direct evidence against him and a potential bias in the Enforcement Directorate’s approach during its probe into a money-laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the 2021-22 excise policy. But the Delhi High Court has stayed this order until next week. In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court had clearly said that the ED cannot arrest anyone without providing substantial evidence. It has not been able to produce any evidence against Kejriwal in the money-laundering case thus far. Yet, a sitting chief minister remains behind bars. This matter leaves no doubt about the ED being a puppet in the hands of the ruling dispensation.

M.N. Gupta, Hooghly

Sir — The findings of a post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS show that 44% of Indians feel that the arrests of Opposition leaders on charges of corruption are politically motivated. The Centre should take this finding into account before going after Opposition leaders and ruining its image further.

Romana Ahmed, Calcutta

Clean the air

Sir — The State of Global Air Report 2024 underlines the severity of air pollution in India. The children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to air pollution — at least 1,69,400 of the 2.1 million Indians who died owing to air pollution in 2021 were children.

However, there is a silver lining. Access to clean air and awareness about healthcare measures have reduced the burden of air pollution-related deaths in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. Interventions like many people switching over to hybrid or electric vehicles have demonstrated the collective will to fight the menace of air pollution.

Vijay Singh Adhikari, Nainital

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