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Ten-rupee wonder

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India Post has a noble service on offer at select post offices to receive petitions from anyone for any public authority under the Right to Information Act on submission of an RTI fee of ten rupees, thus saving postal expenses and postal order commission for the applicant. But this service is neither widely known nor available at many post offices. It should be made available at all post offices throughout the country.

Since every post office, howsoever small, is attached to a big post office, any RTI petitions received at the smaller post offices can be sent to the big post offices for further processing.

Meanwhile the postal authorities should consider issuing special commission-free RTI postal orders of ten rupees payable at all post offices at par with the payee's name endorsed as “Accounts Officer”, requiring a petitioner to write just the sender's name and address. Still better would be to issue an RTI stamp of ten rupees to eliminate all difficulties in remitting the RTI fee.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal,

1775, Kucha Lattushah,

Dariba, Chandni Chowk,

Delhi – 110 006.

Senior citizens' woes

My MTNL phone (No. 011-22154350) allotted under the Senior Citizens' category has been dead for the past three months. Whenever I make a telephonic reminder to MTNL, I am told by the voice at the other end that my complaint is already registered with them and then the receiver is banged.

The postal authorities are kinder in comparison as they at least deliver local letters even if after seven days. On the 18th of this month I received three local letters and one outstation letter. Three of these were invitations for attending conferences or meetings that were already over and one for joining a condolence meeting on the 17th! Such late delivery defeats the very purpose of these letters. Would it not be more prudent to close down the P&T department and hand over the job to some professional service operator?

The Delhi Jal Board has its own ways of duping people. I received a bill dated June 28 for Rs.1,099 for a water connection installed on the first floor of our building. We are only two souls residing on this floor and so far we were getting bills below Rs.200. On August 4 I lodged a protest at the Jal Board office against the outrageously inflated bill but the authorities are still sleeping over it.

Enough? No! I applied for a domestic piped natural gas connection in the name of my daughter who lives on the first floor of our building. It is almost nine months since the meter was installed but the gas connection is still to be provided despite repeated reminders.

Our elderly folks' tales of woe are endless. We continue to suffer because the errant officials never get booked for their sins of omission and commission and we lack the time, money and physical strength to pursue matters to their logical end.

Suresh C. Maheshwari,

B-48, Ashoka Niketan,

Delhi – 110 092.

Hello, MTNL…..

We received our phone bill from MTNL Delhi (Bill No. 208910782) for Rs.1,224 on September 8 with payment due date of September 29. My father issued a cheque for Rs.1,224 dated September 20 on Punjab & Sind Bank's Siddharth Enclave branch and it was duly submitted at the Okhla telephone exchange counter.

Suddenly in October we received a call saying the cheque had been dishonoured by the bank because of insufficient funds in the account and the payment should be made in cash the next morning. My father's bank avers that the said cheque (No.041366) was never presented to them and the remark about inadequate funds is totally out of the question. Otherwise they would have promptly shown me the supposedly dishonoured cheque and the memo.

To add insult to injury, our latest MTNL bill makes an additional demand of Rs.100 as “charges on cheque dishonour”. It is time MTNL mends its ways.

Vineeta Kalbag,

C/o M. R. Patwardhan,

255, Siddharth Enclave,

New Delhi – 110 014.

“Hey, I am staff…..”

The word “staff” means an employee or member of some organisation but “staff” in our buses means you are exempt from paying the fare. It is a privilege provided by various organisations to their low-paid staff to cover their commuting expenses but many people such as students of university and schools are abusing it with impunity, simply proclaiming themselves as “staff” and travelling free of charge.

The transport authorities must crack down on such unscrupulous elements by undertaking surprise checks and taking deterrent action.

Rahul Kapoor,

B-197,198,199,

Gandhi Vihar,

Delhi – 110 009.

Bihar's ways

We were surprised to know from an official report that our village has been electrified. The fact is that not a single electric pole or wire has been connected in our village.

The village covers 22 tolas, of which only two tolas have been electrified partially, Rakhbari Goath and Rakhbari Khabasa Tola. The other 20 tolas are yet to be connected.

Maybe the authorities would do something about this now?

Rakhee Thakur,

C/o Pashupati Nath Jha,

Post Office Rakhbari, Banhi Tola (Via Jhanjharpur),

District Madhubani (Bihar).


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