A sincere politician

Editor,

I was saddened to hear the news of the untimely demise of Er. S K Sunn, a vibrant and lovely personality. He joined MeSEB sometime in the early 1980s as Assistant Engineer, at Kyrdemkulai Power Station for a brief period. Subsequently he shifted to the PHE. In the late 80’s he was involved in operation and maintenance of Greater Shillong Water Supply (GSWS) installation at Mawphlang. Because of some inherent inadequacy in the pumps there and irregular management of power supply in the NE Region, the pumps there were unable to maintain adequate water supply to Shillong. Sunn was constantly coordinating with MeSEB for arrangement of standard quality of power to GSWS. Unlike the present discipline in the management of Power Utilities, in those days, there was very poor regulation of demand vs. generation, resulting in, at times, lower than the standard frequency, for which the Mawphlang pumps were unable to deliver. I was elated when one night at 2 am he came from Mawphlang to my house at Sumer, 28 Km from Shillong, to request me to improve the frequency by shedding some load for a while. Such was his sense of responsibility! We have lost a good leader.

Yours etc.,

B.C. Biswas.

Guwahati.

Poor mobile network in the digital era

Editor,

Cell phones and internet connectivity are an integral part of our lives today. One cannot imagine life without a cell phone or internet connectivity. Every household depends on internet for work, study, or communication with their loved ones especially during this pandemic where one has to work from home or attend online classes or make important calls.
As of late, there is an ongoing network problem in the Dawki –Shnongpdeng. Often the mobile network in this area goes off not just for 1 or 2 hours a day but sometimes for the entire day itself. This has caused a lot of hardship and inconvenience for everyone who depends on the internet whether for work or studies. Airtel and Jio are the two main network providers in this area. Both these network providers have disappointed their customers but Jio network disappoints us much more as its service frequently gets cut off.
If this continues, those in the tourism sector as well, will be highly affected as tourist who want to book a place to stay cannot call for bookings and tourists who depend on Google maps won’t be able to reach the correct destination without proper GPS.
I request these network providers to kindly look into this matter for the well-being of the public in this area.

Yours etc,

Lemuel G Lymba,

Via email

Penalty for dumping garbage in drains

Editor,

Dumping garbage in the open drains is not an offence in our city but it is a matter of serious concern. It has far-reaching health and environmental consequences. A few days ago, when a boy protested against the dumping of the garbage into an open drain near Garikhana, he was nearly slapped. The boy who recently passed his SSLC is both gentle and intelligent. As an onlooker, this incident deeply hurt me. I immediately jumped to the boy’s rescue. But even I had a tough time explaining that the adult defaulter basic civic sense and the environmental hazards of such an action. With a cell phone in one hand, that gentleman defiantly argued that if every resident in the locality can dump garbage in drains and have done so for ages, there is nothing wrong. What that man was correct. Perhaps the authorities have never strictly warned the people around that they should not throw their household trash in the drain. Therefore, besides bio-degradable waste, even hard plastic tables, pots, leather bags, shoes, bundles of old clothes stuffed in poly bags are also thrown into drains and streams with nonchalance. Now who should be held responsible for this? Is our complacency not blameworthy?
Look at, how our rivers, streams and drains that pass through the city have accumulated heaps of garbage which give out a stench when they rot. This pollutes the environment around. The non-biodegradable waste makes the situation still worse. They result in clogged drains In case of heavy rainfall, that hard waste gets just washed away. But where do they all go? Unquestionably to the Umiam lake – the main water reservoir that generates electricity for Shillong and beyond. This sorry state of affairs will soon leave us all grasping in the dark! The depth of the Umiam river is decreasing every year. Any environmentalist will confirm this. Why are we keeping mum and keep this ominous reality under wraps? We love to imitate the West, but why do we not try to match up with their cleanliness as well?
Through this letter I request the concerned authorities to give serious thought to this hazardous practice that is clogging the environment. One strongly feels that the Municipality should come down heavily on those irresponsible people who pose a threat to our fragile environment. The administration must take a hard line and impose a hefty fine as penalty on the polluters. We can also help by secretly taking the pictures of the offenders that hurt our environment. That photos/videos clippings should be shared with the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong Municipal Board and Pollution Board in confidence. Those photo clippings may be put up on the notice board and on the official websites apart from the monetary penalty. I hope this will act as a ‘big deterrent,’ to polluters. We can live tomorrow only if we do not let others mess with the environment today.

Yours etc.,

Salil Gewali,

Shillong

Remembering 9/11 attacks

Editor,

The 9/11 terror attacks in America are permanently etched in public memory. That was the first time the US had been attacked by an outside force since 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. The boldness and careful planning by Al Qaeda showed the vulnerability of the security system of all countries. There is no denying the fact that no country is invulnerable to terrorism.
Vigilance is the key to stop any crime including terrorism. It is ironic that the hijackers of the plane that crashed on to the Pentagon were routinely screened and given clearance to board the plane in the US which was known to frisk the high and the mighty. Although the CIA had given warnings about terrorist attacks in the US, the state agencies ignored them.
The 9/11 terror attacks exemplify that political instability in a country breeds terror. Extraordinary political instability existed in the US before the terror attacks. The political infighting at that time in the US was unheard of. Further, coordination among the government machinery failed. As a consequence, about 3,000 people lost their lives.
Another important lesson to be learned from these attacks is that the fight against terrorism is far from over. It must be understood that over 100 countries in the world are victims of terrorism. The most important lesson to be learned is that the national and global security agencies must not lower their guard at any point of time. Given that terrorists need only a loophole to kill humanity, these agencies must always be on the alert and infallible.
The US has completed the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. The Taliban announced a new government and declared it an Islamic emirate. On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaida may be defeated, but it is clear that jihadism and the desire to recreate a caliphate will remain.

Yours etc.,

Venu GS,

Kollam

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