Is BMC alone responsible for building collapses in the city?
BMC and the government alone cannot be held responsible for building collapses in the city. Citizens too have to be careful and alert when they buy properties in illegal structures that are in depleted state. They are risking their own lives by staying in depleted buildings just to save money by buying such properties because they are cheap. You cannot clap with a single hand and both the government and citizens are equally responsible for illegal structures in the city as they are in place because there are demand for such buildings.
A stitch in time saves nine and old buildings should be regularly repaired to prevent such mishaps. Corruption rules roost and BMC too should take action against their people who allow such contraction by accepting bribes. Cluster development in Mumbai is the need of the hour and rules for redevelopment should be relaxed for very old depleted buildings that need urgent attention!
Who’s to be blamed for the Dongri tragedy?
It is very sad that an old dangerous building at Mohammed Ali Road in Dongri area, had to come crumbling down on July 17, with so many people losing their lives and their property. It was a MHADA building and the MHADA owners are putting the blame on the BMC. The BMC in turn is putting the blame on someone else. Nobody is willing to take the blame on themselves. All they need is our votes. Lives lost cannot be brought back again. All we can do is pray for the dead. May their souls rest in peace.
Criminal tag continues for Kulbhushan
A first question arises about the coverage of this event by the Indian media is that how many articles have been published on this imprisonment since 2017. During the election campaign, how many times has the name of Kulbhushan Jadhav been pronounced by the political parties? These issues are important because in other countries when a citizen is imprisoned by another country for a particular reason – including for reasons related to espionage – there is constant pressure from the media – and also from civil society- so that we do not forget this national. But in India things are very different, but how can it be otherwise in a country where we quickly forget the past warring heroes and the sports champions who shined in world competitions. The discretion of the authorities on this case- discretion that can be justified – however, raises questions among the readers and certainly the citizens of the country. Let’s hope that the verdict meets the expectations of all concerned.
Declining auto-sales by 12-per cent in quarter-one of present fiscal-year 2019-20 is a matter of study when not only sale of cars but also commercial vehicles, three-wheelers and two-wheelers has declined significantly. Considering ever-increasing number of cars in urban areas causing problem of parking and road-space, reducing sale of cars is welcome. But at the same time, sale of alternate mode of travel including passenger-buses, two-wheelers and three-wheelers reflect adversely on economic aspects of the country.
It is time that capping on number of auto-rickshaws in cities like Delhi may be removed to make these available in such plenty (like e-rickshaws) that auto-rickshaw drivers may not afford to deny going to desired destination or over-charging, a usual feature in Delhi which necessitates having cars by middle-income families.
However sale of big cars occupying more road-space should be discouraged by doubling all government-levies including GST by imposing equivalent cess on cars with ex-factory price of say rupees 10 lakhs. Car-loans should not be allowed on such costlier cars. Since charity begins at home, all government-purchase of cars including by public-sector undertakings PSUs should be only from economy-range of cars.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)