The abysmally poor postal service in the country often takes a toll on the public in multiple ways. The non-delivery of urgent documents and parcels adversely affects not only individual citizens, but also government departments, private companies and agencies. Here is a recent case in point. One urgent parcel dispatched from Rajasthan on Nov 24, 2021 somehow reached Guwahati on December 1st. But that packet has now seemingly been left in some parcel hub in Guwahati to gather dust. This piece of information I got when I pulled up the details from the postal tracking portal two days back. I immediately contacted and intimated the GPO, Shillong. I am always thankful to a few of the staff in Shillong GPO who are quick to resolve petty issues. Yes, I further learned from the concerned employees of GPO that they are also fed up with the nonchalantly callous attitude of officers/staff concerned in Guwahati. Many reminder letters from Shillong GPO for the prompt forwarding and the clearance of the consignments often go in vain. Unlike ordinary documents, even “speed post” letters/parcels are forwarded from the Guwahati hub only after being held up for many days or weeks. This violates the contract between the post office and the consumer who has paid for service and hence makes them liable before a consumer court. Why does the post office charge so high if the so-called “express service” is abnormally poor?
On the other hand, we now have several private players in the field which fly with zeal. They ensure excellent service. Couriers like FedEx, BlueDart, Delhivery, DTDC put their best foot forward to keep their customers satisfied by delivering documents on the third day. One wonders why the postal department is still moving at a snail’s pace in this age of the digital world. Who is responsible for this poor performance of Indian Post? Aren’t there higher-ups to resolve customers grievances? Why are the public left in the lurch? The Indian Post is not doing us a favour.
From all indications it appears that government-run postal department badly needs a complete overhaul. It must use all its technological tools to improve services with utmost urgency. This is the age of competitiveness and efficiency. Hope this letter will draw the attention of the concerned authorities.
Road widening causing traffic jams!
Road widening is happening in the Chandmari area of Tura , alongside the construction of an astro turf playground. This is excellent, but after knowing that the traffic density has increased manifold why can’t the Company which has been awarded the contract , clear out the debris? These bottlenecks can easily be avoided. When one is stuck in a traffic jam due to the narrowing of the roads as the debris is yet to be cleared , our engines are running, but going nowhere. Fuel is expensive and it’s a sheer waste of time and money due to the traffic snarls which have now become a regular occurrence in Tura. Can’t the WGH administration instruct the contractor to clear the debris immediately , so that we experience a smoother ride, save precious cash and fuel and breathe clean air?
Oh! The cry of our wretched teachers
The letter, ‘Pay teachers their dues!’ by Gerandia Marbaniang ,Headmistress ,Mawmihthied RMSA secondary school & over 400 others is a cry in the wilderness. The cry for payment of salary is in chorus with SSA teachers. It is high time that the portfolio of education is held by one who has been a teacher so the person gets a better idea where the shoe pinches when he/she has to go without pay for 7- 8 months. Teachers are head over ears in debt. In Khasi we use the words ‘Ka ram haduh niuhmat’ meaning, to be in debt up to the eyebrows.
As early as 1988 it was decided that cess earned from petrol would go towards primary education. An RTI activist petitioned Mr Prestoine Tynsong in the beginning of 2021 about this cess going towards payment of teachers’ salaries and was assured that it would. But in the final stages when the activist consulted the Finance Department there was nothing on record. Meanwhile the 243 pumps of Meghalaya were promised by the government to waive off the tax on petrol/diesel. The proposed waiving was supposedly done secretly.
In this confused scenario I hope the teachers have a Happy Christmas.
AFSPA an instrument of racial discrimination
India, called the world’s largest democracy” is using the Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in North East India, in the name of “counter insurgency.” There are insurgent activities in in Chattisgarh and West Bengal too where the Maoists regularly kill uniformed personnel. There was uprising of Tamil Eelam in Tamil Nadu too but the AFSPA has never been enforced there. AFSPA, an inhuman and draconian Act might have been relevant in 1958. But times have changed and the nation is now no longer unsure of itself as it was in the early stages of the post- independence period. So why does India not think of doing away with colonial Acts in consonance with the changing times and thereby win the hearts of its countrymen? And why enforce AFSPA continuously in the North East? We have to clearly understand that the inhabitants of this region are mostly of the Tibeto-Burman race and hence using AFSPA here is nothing short of “racial discrimination.”
People of the North East must jointly oppose AFSPA and take up the issue at the International fora as an issue of “racial discrimination.” This will be a strong instrument for the region to fight for repeal of the AFSPA – the irony of the so-called “world’s largest democracy”.
Er. Mhondamo Ovung,
Retd Chief Engineer, PHED, Nagaland state
& Chairman, Lotha Hoho (Tribal Council)