For the past three or four years, dredging has not been carried out off Mattancherry and Ernakulam jetties. Hence, crews find it difficult to bring ferryboats to the jetties. To the best of my knowledge, dredging was last carried out in October 2002 off the Mattancherry jetty before its inauguration the following month. Thereafter, nothing has been done to maintain the depth of the waters.
During leap tides, the boat crew have to make strenuous efforts to take boats to the jetty. Periodic dredging will partly solve the problem and prolong the life of the boats.
The Department of Water Transport is, therefore, urged to take up dredging at least once in two years. Minister for Road and Water Transport N. Sakthan is requested to take action in this regard.
H. Ravikumar Pai,
VAT era yet to begin
Though the State introduced value-added tax (VAT) on April 1, 2005, its benefits have not been passed on to consumers. What is preventing this is the maximum retail price (MRP). Most packed and bottled consumer goods are still circulated with the MRP label. Retail traders charge MRP, for most goods, in rural and suburban areas. Also, for instance, a soda water bottle of half a litre with MRP of Rs. 25 is sold at rates of Rs. 15, Rs. 20, Rs. 25 and so on at different shops and stalls.
Hence, the production units should indicate the retail price and VAT separately on the label instead of the MRP. Shops should issue bills for all purchases. Shops, stalls and all trading venues must have names and bill books or, at least, one rubber stamp to affix on a paper bit. If these steps are made mandatory, the VAT era will really begin.
Ittoop G. Mampilly,
A programme, `Sanmanassullavarku Samadhanam' (peace be with those having a generous mind), has been arranged by the police authorities in Kochi on December 30 to get the opinion of the public on how to set right anomalies and other irregularities in enforcing law and order and instilling traffic discipline.
It appears that many appreciable, and genuine, suggestions have come forward from many people who attended the function. It is hoped that immediate action would be taken the State Government and the police authorities on the suggestions.
Special attention is required now, on an emergency basis, to check the speed of tipper lorries, since many accidents involving them, in the recent past, in our surroundings, had taken the life of a number of people.
A footpath on the middle of a stretch of Mullassery Canal Road, connecting Chittoor Road and Mahatma Gandhi Road, is causing inconvenience to motorists. The path divides the stretch into two levels. This makes it impossible for two-way traffic to flow easily. Also there is waste of space; the footpath should, at least, be used for parking. Did the authorities put any thought into this before sanctioning the path?
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