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Letters to the Editor: 03 September, 2019

No preventive measures to stop fire accidents

It is one more case of fire in Maharashtra and the explosion that followed killed  people and left over 50 injured after an explosion in a chemical unit in Dhule. The factory manufactures washing detergent and its owner has not been identified and the cause of the fire. The death toll is likely to increase in a day or two. It is believed that a 200 litre chemical barrel exploded creating a big fire and the worker ran helter skelter for dear life. The explosion happened where chemicals were being mixed and it is a dangerous process. It appears that the cause of the accident is sheer negligence and there is no fire audit in the chemical factory for many years. The series of fire accidents in the state of Maharashtra is causing concern and there are no preventive measures to stop such accidents.

Nikhil Krishnan


India can demand shifting of Kulbhushan Jadhav to UN

It was on expected lines that Kulbhushan Jadhav had to speak during counsellor-access with Deputy High Commissioner of India in Pakistan on September 2, 2019 under tremendous pressure of Pakistani authorities in accordance with tune of Pakistan. Since he has to remain in torturous custody of Pakistan, he could not speak reality in fear of extended dose of torture later.

India has sufficient evidence through photographs and videos that Kulbhushan Jadhav was beaten mercilessly by Pakistan authorities. Indian government should raise the issue on international forum to shift Kulbhushan Jadhav to office of either United Nations or Red Cross in Pakistan if it may not be feasible to demand his shifting to some neutral country of Pakistan. Demand should also be made for a complete and comprehensive medical check-up by a collegium of doctors in a country outside Pakistan. He can return to Pakistan after such medical check up but to be lodged under offices of United Nations or Red Cross in Pakistan.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal


Railways should waive online ticketing charges

The recent move by IRCTC to restore convenience fee for online railway ticket bookings will cause inconvenience to the rail passengers. The move aimed at generating only the revenue to the Railways should be looked into restoring instead of providing comfortable services to the passengers, including booking of tickets. Bookings made through digital payment gateways, UPI wallets and other online modes will otherwise attract a fees of Rs.30 and Rs.15 for AC and Sleeper services respectively.

It is given to understand that the convening fee was waived in the wake of demonetization since November 2016 and move was aimed to encourage passengers to avail digital payments while booking online tickets. It is ironical to note that instead of promoting paper free ticketing facility and cashless payment services, the Railways is only forcing the passengers now to pay more for online services thus availed through booking tickets. The move otherwise forces the passengers to only rush to manual ticket booking counters to get railway tickets and thus increases burden on the Government to issue more paper based tickets and entangle in cash based payment mechanism.

The Railways should instead find innovative ways to garner revenue and should not levy the same by burdening the passengers by levying fees for digital payments made. In an era of technological revolution, the Railways should also find smart ways to reduce paper based railway ticket printing and should instead encourage cashless and online mode of ticket booking and payments by waiving off necessary payment gateway/service fees.

Varun Dambal


Hike in fine amount will pave way for corruption

It refers to steep and unreasonable hike in fines for traffic-violation even for petty violations which at times are unavoidable. Of course, fine of rupees 100 was too small and people in general did not care to obey traffic-rules because of such petty fine. But hiking it suddenly in range of rupees 1000-1500 will induce large-scale corruption because people will find it advantageous to pay a part of such heavy fine to traffic-policemen on duty rather than having a big hole in their pockets that too in cumbersome court-proceedings.

Traffic-fines for normal traffic-violations should be maximum rupees 500. For serious offences like drunken driving or allowing driving by minor children, fine can be rupees 5000-10000. There are practical instances when violation of crossing zebra-lines is due to sudden turning of red light to orange light. New traffic-rules must have taken care of such instances. Moreover even when traffic-fines were low previously, holding regular traffic-courts allowed violators to skip even earlier smaller fines.

Need is to discourage automobile-sector (rather than encouraging in name of economic slowdown) so as to decongest road and parking space from ever-increasing vehicles on roads.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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