1) One time Toll Tax should be implemented
It refers to Union Ministry for Highways working on new toll-policy where toll-tax will have to be paid only for stretch of road used rather than for complete road-stretch between two toll-plazas. Any such new policy will require lot of investment on existing highways tolling system under Pay-As-You-Use plan, even though new highways like Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressway around Delhi are equipped with new system.
But best is to replace toll-system by charging one-time toll-tax on purchase of new vehicles like system exists for charging one-time road-tax on purchase of new vehicles. It may be recalled that all concerned including vehicle-users and transport-authorities welcomed such a system of one-time payment of road-tax avoiding cumbersome procedure of paying and collecting road-tax.
Amount collected through one-time toll-tax on purchase of new vehicles can then be utilised for developing and maintaining highways without necessitating toll-plazas as big hurdles causing queues at toll-plazas. One-time toll-tax can be fixed according to ex-showroom price of new vehicles so that people having expensive cars may have to contribute more than those purchasing economy cars. People paying extra clubbed with the cost of new vehicle will never mind because of facility of toll-free movement in future.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
2) Self Sufficient Villages
The other day I was listening to Javed Akhtar, “Build new cities”.
We have to make villages and small towns , self sufficient.
Medium and small scale industry must thrive in villages and adjacent small towns to stop migration of population from villages to, say, Mumbai and Delhi.
Small capacity motors and pumps must be made in these areas only. Food preservation activity must develop here. Clothing should be made here.
Government must develop infrastructure here and provide hand holding of farmers by industrialists and businessmen.
Fruits and vegetables must be produced here and carried via IWT.
Government must provide for power and water. Young sports persons must be picked up from here and be trained. Bollywood must pick up beautiful and talented actors from here.
Skill development program must be intensified here.
Government must think, how to protect the crop of farmers from cows and nilgais .
Gram panchayats must be empowered to decide matters locally.
– Mahendra Singh
3) Mithali Raj’s omission proved costly for Team India!
Mithali Raj is the Sachin Tendulkar of Women’s cricket & her omission from the T-20 semi-finals cost India the game. It is always easy to criticize on hindsight but Mithali Raj’s experience & skills to the young Indian outfit would have boosted the morale of the team. India though, had a fruitful tournament as they made it to the Semi-finals to prove that they are a force to reckon with in women’s cricket.
Smrithi Mandhana played a gallant knock but had no support from the other end as England had the better of us in a one-sided game. Indian women side can only improve from here on to make an impact in future tournaments. Bad luck girls. Better luck next time.
4) Fishermen’s great rescue act
The fisher folks of Palghar did a great rescue act and save a 30 feet whale shark from the net. It was a superhuman effort to make 900kg weight shark to rescue by dragging the fishing net laid down to catch fish. We have seen such rescue act in the social media but the live act in Palghar was stupendous. The fishermen made great efforts in disentangling the whale shark and released it back to the Arabian Sea. Thus a marathon effort saw the shark came out of captivity with the clever thinking of the fishermen. The spotted shark is a rare species and struggled to swim against currents. The climate change must have changed their direction and it faces a huge threat as poachers kill the whale shark for its meat, fin and oil. This rescue act was indeed a remarkable one.
– Chitra Rugmini
6) Heinous attack on Chinese consulate in Pakistan
It is totally condemnable that Chinese consulate was attacked in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi killing four persons including two policemen. The attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist insurgent group that opposes Chinese exploitation of natural resources. This severe attack shows the lack of priority of Pakistan towards security and protection of foreign consulates. Otherwise how is it possible for the three heavily armed suicide bombers to storm the Chinese consulate? Pakistan must consider that such violence is the main hindrance in the way to development and doesn’t hold any justification. So, the Pakistan should put some strong measures in place to prevent such heinous attacks.
– Mohd Faheem
7) Income tax Department crack-down on service-charge levied by hotels and restaurants
It refers to initiative of Income Tax Department to scrutinise anti-consumer practice of levying service-charge by many hotels and restaurants to ensure that the amount so levied reaches to staff of concerned hotels and restaurants rather than being pocketed by owners as their additional income. Perhaps such an initiative by Income Tax Department may discourage hotels and restaurants to discontinue such anti-consumer practice. But it is quite likely that staff of hotels and restaurants may not be benefitted through such initiative of Income Tax Department, because owners may be employing staff with less salary taking into consideration such extra income of employees while negotiating salary.
It is unfortunate that Department of Consumer Affairs failed in its duty to ban levying of service-charges in bills of hotels and restaurants. Government-advisories on such issues are gimmick to befool consumers. It should be probed why Department of Consumer Affairs does not officially and legally ban practice of levying service-charge by hotels and restaurants especially when the Department itself considers the practice improper.
– Madhu Agrawal
8) Dangerous dengue deaths increasing
Dengue deaths are increasing day by day and it is causing concern. Both Kolhapur and Mumbai head the list of most dengue deaths and that is not encouraging news. Dengue is dangerous and if people show the symptoms then adequate care must be taken. As the number of patients soars high, BMC should act immediately. Dengue has turned into an epidemic and it is high time we treat the patients in the best way possible. The crux of the problem is contamination of water and it is high time the Municipal Authorities take up the responsibility and see that both hospitals and Government machinery act in the best way and to tackle the situation. Need based action is the need of the hour rather than precipitating the matter still further.
– C.K. Subramaniam
9) The attack on CM Kejriwal should not be politicised
The statement of BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari alleging that the attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was scripted by the party itself, does not sound good. It is extremely possible that there might have been a BJP leader instead of CM Kejriwal who would have been attacked, so he should not politicise the matter. Rather his responsibility is to condemn the attack irrespective of all political differences and disputes. It was the matter of great concern that a CM was attacked with chilli powder in his Secretariat, but the BJP is politicising the matter rather than to condemn it. It is also interesting to note that the accused was clearly a BJP worker and openly threatened to attack CM Arvind Kejriwal. However, I condemn Manoj Tiwari’s statement in this regard.
10) Why there is so much fuss about bullet trains
When a new project is taking shape there would be number of hiccups to face in the initial stages but once the project is complete and starts yielding good service then people forget all the discomfiture. Bullet trains introduction is also like that for that matter. To complete the bullet train project land is required as in the case of an airport project. When all the other developing countries are having fast trains, India is lagging behind by at least 20 years and it is high time we give importance to bullet trains. For the acquiring of land, compensation is going to paid then why make so much fuss? Anyway environmental clearance will be obtained before completing the project. I do not know why there is so much fuss about the introduction of bullet trains in India.
– Nickhil Krishnan
11) Unmanned level crossing accident
The incident of the local train ramming into a bus at Juhi level crossing resulting in three injured again raised the question of providing a guarded gate in future. Four years back a 502 Best Bus suffered the same fate and this time it was a 18 number NMMT bus which got hit by empty train. People are really looking for safety in public carriers in general and railways in particular. Despite commencing Railway services in the year 1853 we are still lagging behind. There are number of unmanned level crossing in cities and there are number of accidents involving vehicles and trains in this corridor. The Indian Railway has been in the recent past plagued by accidents and the priority of the Railway Minister should be safety first rather than increasing the speed of the trains. More thrust should be given for safety on the road- approaching unmanned level crossing by appointing more staff to cope up with the requirements. Railway Minster should make it a point to cover all unmanned level crossings with a proper gate and security staff. The fracture caused to the school children must be a matter of concern. Railways should be vigilant in this pocket and see to it that such accidents do not occur in future.
– Anandambal Subbu
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)