What happened in Telangana in connection with celebration of Republic Day can be termed as dilution of the Constitution and that by the Chief Minister of a state which is holding on to the past after swearing in the name of the Constitution. Such an act by the Chief Minister is highly objectionable and the High Court had to intervene in the matter. A few days ago, a rally was organised where about five lakh people participated and four chief ministers attended without following Covid protocols. To fulfil any political aspiration, constitutional norms should not be violated such as the Telangana Chief Minister not attending the function at the Raj Bhavan. Assembly elections are due this year and such type of politics being played is not in good taste.
As far as dilution of the Constitution is concerned the present war of words between the Supreme Court and the Union Government is an example. The statement of Law minister, Kiren Rijiju is not in good taste when he stated that government is answerable to the public whereas supreme court judges are free from any accountability.
Recently similar incidents also happened in Tamil Nadu where the Constitution was miserably diluted. In Tamil Nadu reports are emanating about the differences between the Chief Minister and Governor, where the latter unilaterally proposed that the name Tamil Nadu should be changed to ‘Tamizhagam,’ because he thinks it “a more appropriate name.” The Governor has also started using it in official communications. Needless to say, such impetuosity has angered the MLAs of Tamil Nadu, a state in which regional feelings are very strong and which witnessed anti-Hindi and anti-north India agitations not very long ago. It is gross misconduct on the part of the Governor to change the name of the state where he is expected to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” His decision was not just unilateral but also against the express wishes of a democratically elected Government. A press communiqué released by the Governor’s House said, “There has been regressive politics with the wrong habit of refusing everything that benefits all sections of people including academicians, blindly for their own interests, claiming that the state is not integrally part of India.” That may be correct, but is it the job of the Governor to reform the politics in the state? And even if a Governor wants to do something that may be deemed as political, should he or she do that without taking the Government of the state into confidence?
A Governor should not convey the wrong message that he is working at the instructions of the BJP. The country had already witnessed such conflicts in West Bengal and we also see such news emanating from Kerala where there was tussle between the Governor and Vice Chancellors of universities. Such actions tarnish the image of the country. This year we have to be more vigilant as the G- 20 conference will be held in India and various programmes in this regard will be held across the country. Such undemocratic steps will be highlighted by the foreign media. Hence governors and chief ministers should come to the negotiating table and solve matters amicably. The DMK’s reaction is on expected lines. Senior leader TR Baalu said, “He [Ravi] makes statements that are factually incorrect and potentially dangerous.” The consequences are also not unexpected: a Constitutional logjam in the state.
On the basis of the above instances we can say that all the concerned should refrain from diluting the Constitution.
Yash Pal Ralhan,
Advice for LPG users
It is no denying that LPG cylinders have served the people well. The Government of India classifies it as an explosive and it falls under Explosive Acts. By law LPG cylinders should be home delivered but in most cases this is violated and people are expected to pick them up from a certain point where the truck loaded with LPG halts. The gas has no smell but scientists who put safety before everything else put a chemical methyl mercaptan or methanethiol which is a colourless flammable gas with a distinct odour like rotten eggs. When there is leakage, the smell prompts intelligent users to switch off the regulator, take the cylinder into the open and call the agency to have it replaced. The agency cannot repair the regulator as it is unlawful and deals with the valve. It is heard from some that the rubber seal as well is attempted to be replaced. The duty of LPG users is to have the cylinder replaced and agencies are equipped with a manometer to check leakage.
One suggestion while picking up a cylinder is to choose the newly red painted ones over those old decolonised ones. We can’t depend on the bottling plants that bottle lakhs of cylinders per day to be cent percent investigative and perfect. While collecting the cylinder, be ready with a little drop of water. The distributor will be too happy to open the cork to let the consumer put some drops of water on the body of the cylinder. If there are bubbles in the water the distributor should replace it with a safe one. But it is not known if the defective cylinders are marked. Marking helps the bottling plants to junk the cylinder when it reaches them.
Unfortunately consumers are too happy just to get their quota of cylinder, after which they hire a taxi and on reaching home if they find the cylinder leaking would have to hire another cab to return the leaked cylinder. Hence consumers have to spend almost about Rs 1800 on the single cylinder.
Few years ago, a particular Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills was farsighted enough to see the problems and passed an order to localise the consumers vis-a-vis agency. For example, ISBT Mawiong agency cannot supply to Madanrting. I wonder if this order still stands or has been rescinded.
Last but not least, the stove, the regulator and tube( which should be rubber not plastic should have the ISI (Indian Standard Industries) marking. Unfortunately, the government of the day is never serious on this main requirement and unmindful consumers who want the best and safest and don’t compromise on the cost are always heavily duped. It is high time the Lok Adalat is revived to save unmindful consumers from companies that try to dupe them. With genuine ISI parts the consumer is guaranteed safety and we will not hear tragic news of loss of lives due to gas explosions.
In the beginning of 2022, we heard of the Lummawbah fire incident. Fortunately, there were no loss of lives. In November last in Mookyndur, two little children perished in a fire involving gas explosion and very recently at Mawbah, two precious lives were lost. These tragedies keep repeating but the government of the day never cares to do a post-mortem to find out the cause of fire and to raise awareness and organise workshops to save lives. It would appear that human life today is of no worth at all.
Until 2019 we heard of the sales managers of Indane organising a 2- month long workshop on safety of gas usage but few attended. Educating the users is the prerogative of the government.
In big cities piped supply of LPG has made life comfortable and safer for consumers. All that the consumer needs to do is use the mobile phone to call the company saying he/she needs LPG refilling. A few minutes later there is a response from the company. Of course, we cannot expect this to happen in our state even in the next century. Hence we should adopt safer measures while handling LPG cylinders.