Friday, June 14, 2024

Shillong Jottings


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Why this Kolaveri-D and our traffic jams?

Kolaveri -D a song with garbled words sung by South Indian superstar Rajanikanth’s son-in-law, Dhanush has broken all records with over 30 million hits on the internet. It is the most popular song in India among the young, middle aged and elderly. When BSNL launched their WIMAX internet service on Friday in the city they played the song from Youtube to demonstrate the speed of the service. Kolaveri-D is a light-hearted meaningless song accompanied by soothing music. On Saturday, Delhi Police announced that they would play these songs at traffic signals to soothe the emotions of nervy drivers and bring down cases of road rage in the city. A good ploy indeed and one that is likely to succeed especially if the video version is played showing a visibly pleased and laughing Dhanush singing away without a care in the world. Meghalaya might like to take a leaf out of the Delhi Police’s book and play this song at vantage points where traffic jams are expected. The song could lesson our tension and cool our nerves.

Ideal Trade Union

The Meghalaya Joint Council of Trade Unions and Associations (MJCTUA), an apex Trade Union body of Meghalaya, played a crucial role in resolving the crisis that rocked the state owned Meghalaya Transport Corporation, recently. The MJCTUA, which supported the cause of staff and workers of MTC Workers’ Union (MTCWU), had arranged a meeting between the Transport Minister, AT Mondal and MTCWU last Friday. The meeting was held in the presence of MD and officials of MTC along with representatives of MTCWU and MJCTUA and after patiently hearing the problem, the minister assured that the salary for three months would be paid by Wednesday (December 7) and the remaining salary with arrears will be discussed in the next meeting. The MTCWU agreed to suspend the ongoing agitation following the assurance given by the minister. Like a big brother, the MJCTUA has stuck a deal by involving all the parties in the negotiation process because the solution to every problem lies in amicable discussions. Kudos to the MJCTUA and its general secretary since what it has done should otherwise have been initiated by the state government or MTC. The MJCTUA action came as a respite not only for the passengers between Shillong-Guwahati -Garo Hills but also the school students who avail these buses in the city.


The traffic congestion in the entire city last week was due to a 16 wheel truck that broke down near Nongthymmai. Traffic personnel said such a heavy duty vehicle generally enters a city with prior permission. But this vehicle entered without the knowledge of the traffic police. The incident took place last Sunday (Nov 27) night and car owners said that it is a clear case of money having changed hands between the trailer owner and some traffic cop who must have allowed the monstrous vehicle to enter under the cover of darkness when traffic is comparatively lesser and truck drivers are on a shut-eye. The driver of the vehicle absconded leaving the traffic personnel to combat the traffic backlog on a war footing the whole of Monday. To add to the chaos there is no crane big enough in Meghalaya to tackle that gigantic trailer. The trailer resembled a scene from the movie Avatar and the crane a version of the aborigines tool.

BSNL victim of arbitrary decisions

Recently a customer from Nongthymmai (Lumiablot) area barged into the BSNL office with a complaint that mobile telephone service provided by the Public Sector Company (PSU) was at its worst. “I have to call a person at least five times to complete a conversation. This is horrible if we are talking business. But even otherwise it would be considered uncouth to end a conversation abruptly which is what the person at the other end of the line will be thinking, especially if she/he is not familiar with the dropped call syndrome that we are so used to in Meghalaya.” After listening patiently to the lady’s grouse the BSNL engineers told her that it was not their fault. BSNL had tried to put up a tower atop a building somewhere between Nongrim Hills and Nongshiliang but the headman of the locality was opposed to the idea of a tower saying that it would emit radiation. Funnily there are other towers close by which the same headman has not objected to. Talk about arbitrary decisions under the garb of tradition. The BSNL honchos told the lady to first resolve these tricky issues of tradition and modernity and also get a clearance from the headman for the tower, otherwise it is no use complaining. Does this mean it will have to be a citizens’ battle with the so-called guardians of tradition?


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