Lessons from the NEHU incident
Apropos, the news item, “NEHU VC tests positive for COVID” (ST June 24, 2022), it is highly irresponsible of the university’s topmost official to risk the lives of students, teachers and staff in such a careless manner. The VC had attended two Yoga meets with quite a large number of students, teachers and staff in the run up, to him returning a positive result for Covid-19. It has come to our notice that he was shifted to the hospital in an ambulance and had been feeling unwell. If that was the case, shouldn’t it be ascertained whether he was symptomatic or not? In that case, why was the VC attending events as Chief Guests in a large gathering? An educationist is expected to portray Covid appropriate protocols and a person of the stature of a VC, should be concerned about the well-being of others. Unfortunately, in this case, the head of an Institution can well turn out to be a super spreader.
The Centre has done away with contact tracing and wearing of masks, however, one should not forget the fatalities and sorrowful events in recent memory of the Alpha variant. There have been numerous reports that the VC was usually out of station and had been visiting various places in the country which only amplifies the fact that the person was bound to contract the virus. This is a lesson for all of us, and the VC in particular, to restrict our movements and unnecessary travel as Covid is far from over. The Health Department should be proactive and do a test on all members of the Yoga celebrations who had come in direct contact with the VC in order to eliminate any chances of Shillong turning out to be the next Delhi or Mumbai due to the irresponsible behaviour of only one person. Lastly, I would like to conclude that having survived the virus twice, that if one is feeling unwell, one should immediately isolate and seek medical attention. Hope the District medical authorities take cognizance of this case.
Mall /supermarket at MTC complex?
The news regarding MTC complex being turned into a mall, which presently I believe is not genuinely required by the State will do more harm than good for the business community as most of the malls in Shillong are a failure due to very less foot fall , and will create more competition , Government should invest the money in more important matters , like roads , hospitals , engineering and medical colleges , other infrastructure through which youth could be employed , the Government shouldn’t take such a harsh decision of evicting old tenants , whose family and staffs are dependent on the business in MTC since decades , just to please some private company , what’s the point in voting a government which is not sensitive towards people earnings , and favor a few , Government job is to see that all citizens shouldn’t suffer , further there’s ample space in MTC compound where Government can do additional construction without evicting old tenants.
ADCs have no accountability
From missing fishes to non-utilization of funds to the extent of lower rung employees engaged in corruption speaks volumes of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and its efficiency. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution under Article 244 empowers the state to establish Autonomous District Councils. However today they present a sorry state of affairs and the way the respective Councils across the State are currently functioning looks like a free for all with no accountability or transparency whatsoever. For instance the SAG funds wherein an RTI was filed at the JHADC by a friend revealed the stink and misleading information pertaining to the alleged mis-use of funds. There have been times when some MDCs treated the District Council and the funds as their own private property.
Today let us understand that while crucial bills such as the land reforms bill is still stuck within the corridors of the Government the elected MDCs have no idea what lies ahead and have no vision for the people they go to for votes. This is why we find many raising their voices and asking to do away with the ADCs due to their mismanagement and lack of proper functionality. It is only when the very members understand the importance of the ADCs in the day to day lives of the people will they wake up. But when will that wake-up call come is a big question mark.
Dominic Stadlin Wankhar
What a courageous decision
Captain Monica Khanna, the pilot in command of the Spicejet flight SG723 that experienced an Engine Fire right after take-off on June 22 carried out an overweight landing at a highly constrained Patna airfield very skilfully. As per the experts, Patna airport is one of the most critical airports in India that has tall trees on approach to one end of the runway & railway line at the other end.
Captain Monica deserves all praise for her instant courageous decision and safe landing that saved lives of all passengers on board.
Accolades aplenty and appreciation infinitum for her gallantry