Opinion

Plunderer or eco-warrior?

Our Bureaus | Updated on February 07, 2011 Published on February 07, 2011

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Mr. Soli Sorabjee , Chairman of the Organising Committee and President , Commonwealth Lawyers Association. PHOTO: P V SIVAKUMAR .   -  Business Line

Family dosa at Dosa stop resturant at Marathahalli ring road, in Bangalore. (file photo)   -  K_Murali Kumar

At a recent seminar on energy conservation, a bureaucrat cited the instance of conqueror Genghis Khan being touted as the “greenest eco-warrior”. By destroying human settlements in the course of his conquests, the Mongolian chieftain inadvertently did his bit for the environment. His plunders and killings, which led to the creation of the world's largest contiguous empire between the 13th and 14th centuries, resulted in huge cultivated land becoming forests again. This, according to research by Carnegie Institution, resulted in an estimated 700 million tonnes of carbon being absorbed from the atmosphere. Way to go, green warrior!

Media meet gone off track

It was confusion galore at a recent press briefing to showcase the swanky Reliance Infra's Airport Express Link in Delhi. Close to 50 presspersons were left behind due to security check delays as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit waved on the train to the Indira Gandhi International airport. After half an hour of heated arguments between journos and the corporate communications team, another train was arranged to ferry the remaining journalists to the airport. All seemed to be back on track, literally. But to everyone's surprise the second train landed at Dwarka, the next station, as Ms Dikshit had decided to take a joyride till the last station. The only consolation for the hacks was an extended tour of the newly built stations on the way back.

Old habits die hard?

Times may have changed, but not the mentality. Ministers , especially Congress old timers, still believe in playing lord and master before deciding on key appointments, even for statutory bodies. Prospective applicants are expected to pay obeisance in the traditional way, with folded hands et al, to ensure that their names are in the fray. Quite clearly, the Mantris are in no hurry to fill the vacancies, thereby ensuring a steady stream of supplicants-contenders.

Is it Madras or Chennai?

At a recent event, a speaker referred to the IIT-Madras as IIT-Chennai while addressing the participants. When it was his turn to speak, an IIT alumnus started his address with the correction - It is IIT-Madras and not IIT-Chennai. “But IIT-Madras in Chennai is acceptable,” he conceded.

Enact, but implement too!

India can enter the Guinness Book of Records for the number of laws it has enacted. It can also do so for not effectively implementing them, according to eminent lawyer and former Attorney-General of India, Soli Sorabjee. Addressing the media ahead of the Commonwealth Law Conference in Hyderabad, he said “each passing year we discuss ways to expedite delivery of justice. This is something we have been doing so for decades, but we are still some way away from managing to achieve this objective.”

Ailing Maharaja turns healthy

If mere statements of how well a company is doing financially are enough to attract customers, then Air India should well and truly be on the road to recovery. Despite losing market share for two successive months, the airline management has been sending out statements pointing out how the financial health of the airline has been improving. Now one is not sure if this is a way of attracting more passengers or hoodwinking the Government, which has said it will pump in more money into the state-owned airline, into believing things are improving.

City plan sans ‘planners'

On Friday, Mangalore City Corporation hosted a workshop on city development plan for 2034. It started almost 50 minutes later than scheduled with thin representation from councillors. However, key persons such as chairpersons of standing committees on Town Planning and Improvement and on Accounts were absent for the workshop. The Mayor, who came for the inauguration, left the venue in a hurry. The lackadaisical attitude of the elected representatives towards the important issue of planning for city development was palpably visible to those present, which included NGOs, civil engineer association members and architects.

Commuters bear the brunt

The efficiency shown by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in setting up the MRTS project in the Capital is being offset to some extent by the operational mishaps cropping up every second day.

Signal failures, delays on account of issues with overhead pantograph on the trains, add to the woes of commuters, who've been facing the brunt of overcrowding across peak hours. While the DMRC chief has been promising remedial action, problems continue on a regular basis. A serious intervention is warranted to salvage the operational situation.

Where's the inflation

SMS joke doing the rounds: The only place in India where food is inflation-proof? Sample this: Tea -Re 1, Soup - Rs 5.50, Dal - Rs 1.50, Meals - Rs 2, Chapatti - Re 1, Chicken - Rs 24.50, Dosa - Rs 4, Veg biriyani - Rs 8, and Fish - Rs 13. Answer: Parliament canteen.

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Published on February 07, 2011
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