The government's stand on the Tagore Theatre complex at Vazhuthacaud — if the ultimate outcome shows it means business — is reassuring. When the capital city's landmarks, precious open spaces, and vestiges of verdure are vanishing fast with concrete monsters clawing at its skyline, even the smallest effort in arresting the trend has value. Further greening and a more appealing ambience promised are most welcome. Now that some modernisation is in the offing, one looks forward to a moderate refinement in the elevation and view of the building, repeatedly dubbed as an eyesore by the late critic M. Krishnan Nair.
Water charge hike unnecessary
It is understood that the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is planning to increase the water charges by 500 per cent. At a time when people are already under severe financial difficulties owing to spiralling prices of essential commodities, fuel, and electricity, it is inappropriate to increase water charges to such proportions. It is pertinent to note that in a State like Kerala, where water is available in sufficient quantity for all, even the existing charges need to be brought down considering various factors. If the stand is facing problems in recovering the huge amounts due from the government departments, the government should sort out the issue, instead of burdening the public with exorbitant charges. Similarly, the local bodies are in the process of increasing the building tax manifold. Here again, the existing building taxes are on the higher side and any further increase will affect the common man. It is hoped that the government would desist from implementing any proposal to increase the tax keeping in view the larger interests of people.
I am a student doing B.Tech. in one of the prestigious colleges affiliated to the University of Kerala. The examination schedule of the university for the B.Tech. students — in October-November — is unscientific as students hardly get any time to prepare for their exams. Each semester is supposed to be of six months, but this time, the classes started in the last week of June. The exams are due to start on October 19th and 20th for different batches, thus clocking only four months in the current semester. Within this short period, final-year students had to forego many academic days owing to campus placement sessions and project work. There were also many holidays in August and September.
Since the exam dates were announced only about a week ago, there are problems with extra classes extending to 15 and even 17 in some colleges. There is going to be a month-long break before the next semester starts, during which period lab exams are supposed to be conducted and they take just two days.
The lab exams are supposed to start on October 24 after theory exams finish on November 4 — another 20 days of no use. It will be of great help to the students if the university reconsiders the timetable and schedule the examinations judiciously, I hope the authorities hear our voice.
An engineering student
Keep it clean
The Kanakakkunnu palace and its sprawling ground are used for various programmes such as exhibitions and trade fares nowadays. More often than not, the premises are littered with plastic bags, water bottles, and so on. after such programmes. While the government is making all efforts to curb plastic menace, the organisers turn a blind eye to the issue. They should take care to remove garbage from the area before leaving the palace ground in order to avert degradation of the environment.
Readers may write to the City Editor, The Hindu, either by post at TC 36/1946(1), Airport Road, Vallakkadavu, Thiruvananthapuram – 695008, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org