This is with reference to two somewhat related articles “In New York, history battles growth” and “The making of a world-class city”(Business Line, August 29). Curiously, the matter of controversy in New York in its local University expansion plans will be found to be relevant to many schemes in India, too.

Unfortunately, most conflicts in India on urban modernisation plans relate to provision of basic services to citizens and the need for making changes. This is particularly because urban conglomerations in India have grown around or in the vicinity of heritage monuments (Thanjavur, Madurai; for that matter, New Delhi itself, not to talk of Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad). To strike a balance between conservation and necessary modification will prove irksome.

K. Gopalan

Bangalore

Coal concerns

This is with reference to the editorial, “Far from convincing” (Business Line, August 29). The Prime Minister’s arguments on questioning the CAG or passing on the blame to State Governments does not hold water.

Any government’s aim on policymaking, especially on the country’s resources, is to maximise the exchequer’s revenue or benefit its citizens through reduced prices, or both.

A careful reading of the CAG’s audit report on coal block allocation reveals that the Government failed on both fronts.

At a time when the nation is going through difficult times, this is a worrying trend.

While one can find flaws with the CAG’s methodology, the larger point that the private players have once again gained at the expense of the country — government and the consumers — cannot be overlooked.

It is time to cancel the allocations and go through a transparent process.

Varad Seshadri

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(This article was published on August 29, 2012)
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