Letters

Letters to the editor

| Updated on October 16, 2019 Published on October 16, 2019

Small-town transit

This refers to the editorial ‘A lighter commute’(October 16). Light rail trains or Metro Neo is indeed a welcome idea, not only because the Delhi Metro has been a great success, but also for the simple fact that the Metro Neo will act as a feeder service between various stations. Since last-mile connectivity has been a major issue with not only DMRC but other metros as well, this move is going to help immensely. When the cost of a light-rail based transit system is more than half as that of a conventional metro rail network, then introducing it is simply a no -brainer for both small and metro cities. Most Tier-II and -III cities do not have great and convenient public transport systems, and that gap can be easily filled with Metro Neo, more so as these trains can cater perfectly to a small amout of passangers. A light rail metro may be one of the best ways to reduce vehicular traffic on roads.

Bal Govind

Noida

Urban commuting

This is with reference to ‘A lighter commute’ (October 16). Urban living is increasingly putting an exorbitant strain on time and space. Urban density is higher than ever, in terms of both verticalpopulation and earnings concentration. Metro flats have shrunk in area and roads and lanes have narrowed. Buses are too wide for limited road space in common suburbs, that account for 90 per cent of commuters in big cities.

As urban affluence is here to stay, there will be a rise in the trend of having everything delivered at home, and even the metro system may not be able to cope with growing commuting needs. Each mega city needs to plan far ahead to accommodate the transportation needs of its population.

R Narayanan

Mumbai

Distribution of funds

Apropos ‘Defence funding isn’t a finance panel’s mandate’ (October 16). I endorse the author’s view that funding defence is not the under the Finance Commission’s purview, since it will create a constraint on the funds to be allocated to States in lieu of giving a bigger slice to defence expenditure.

Moreover, the competency of the Finance Commission to rationalise and allocate the defence fund cannot be justified, and the Central government alone should make proper decisions on defence allocation. Above all, specific programmes like disaster management may suffer if the Finance Commission gives priority to defence allocation. Hence, the triangular allocation by the Finance Commission to States, the Centre and Defence may not be a feasible proposal, and the budgetary route would be more appropriate.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

IRCTC shares

The great success of the issue of IRCTC shares, which doubled investors’ money overnight, calls for issue of long-term bonds by the IRCTC for setting of large-scale production units in every district of the country for packaged water, confectionery items and other food products to replace cooked meal in trains and schools, where complaints of sub-standard food in unhygienic conditions are quite common.

The setting of such big units in large numbers by the IRCTC with help of long-term bonds will provide huge employment in public sector, apart from giving sizeable profits to the public exchequer. Products can be sold in open market also, to encourage private players bring down their prices.

Employment in the public sector can also be tremendously increased by digging out unaccounted money through the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme whereby those declaring unaccounted money may be asked to invest 50 per cent of the amount in other long-term infrastructural bonds with nominal interest, to be issued by public sector undertakings like the IRCTC.

Madhu Agrawal

Delhi

Published on October 16, 2019
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