Letters to the editor

Published: September 3, 2016 6:10 AM

This refers to the edit “Stalled city” (FE, August 31). It quite aptly observes that “If a state guest being caught in crawling traffic in the fancier parts of the national capital was embarrassing, the sheer magnitude of the misery suffered by the common man should be cause for deep concern for the government.

Delhi deluge

This refers to the edit “Stalled city” (FE, August 31). It quite aptly observes that “If a state guest being caught in crawling traffic in the fancier parts of the national capital was embarrassing, the sheer magnitude of the misery suffered by the common man should be cause for deep concern for the government.” Notwithstanding the highly embarrassing incident of the US secretary of state John Kerry getting stuck in a rain-induced traffic jam for over an hour, it would be naive to expect that things would soon change for better in the national capital. It is worrisome when ambulances, life-line for critically-ill patients, become hapless victims of circumstance created by the successive indifferent governments and their agencies, with none willing to take the blame for the messy situation even when there is mild rainfall. I fully endorse the editorial suggestion that a competent storm-water drain network to prevent pooling is needed urgently. It is ironical that “44 of the city’s 201 natural storm-water drains that were mapped in 1976 had ‘disappeared’ and, the Delhi government, while claiming that 38 of these had been ‘realigned’ by unchecked construction, couldn’t find the remaining six”. This sounds unbelievable! Delhi’s multiple civic bodies or the Union government that controls parts of it must rise to the occasion as nothing will be achieved by shifting blame. It may be kept in mind that one may not be able to fight nature’s onslaughts but their after-effects can always be minimised. So, be better prepared to deal with the frequent water-logging here.

SK Gupta, Delhi

Bengal and GST

Apropos of the edit “Mamata’s wrong on CSS” (FE, August 30), it is disappointing to learn that the Bengal government has decided to postpone its assembly meet meant to secure the state’s approval for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); more so, given the state’s finance minister played a key role in getting the states to overcome the contentious aspects of the GST Bill. One fails to see any rationale behind Mamata Banerjee’s ire over the Centre’s well-considered move to monitor states’ spending and keep tabs on their treasury. There appears to be nothing wrong with the NITI Aayog putting out a memo asking for the public financial management system (PFMS) to be integrated with state treasuries, based on the report of a sub-group of chief ministers set up in March 2015—to ‘rationalise’ the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS)—under the Madhya Pradesh CM. How can the nation afford to turn a blind eye to the mismanagement of the central funds by some states? It will be naive for Banerjee to expect free play, sans any central monitoring. She shed her own inhibitions in the larger national interest.

Vinayak G, Bengaluru

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