I had travelled from Salem to Dharmapuri by bus paying Rs. 18.50 and when I returned again by bus I had to pay Rs. 22, i.e. Rs. 3.50 more for the same distance. When I asked about the extra fare, the bus conductor told me that it was a ‘point-to-point’ bus. But to my dismay the bus stopped at all stops. The State Transport Corporation is cheating commuters in a unique way by collecting more charges by naming the buses Point to Point, Express and Super Express. But the Corporation runs them like ordinary passenger buses halting at all stops.

Private operators do not charge such exorbitant fares at least for shorter distances. The Corporation should display bus fares. Will the Corporation authorities look into it?

K.C. Gopikumar,

CITU Joint Secretary, Salem.

ST status for Badagas

Badaga community’s demand for its inclusion in the scheduled tribes list has been pending with the Central Government for long. Both Jayalalitha, when she was Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had endorsed the demand.

Badagas have been trying to get a tribal status for the last 40 years. Many members of the Badaga community are socially, educationally and economically backward. According to records available in the district collectorate, Badagas were in the tribal list many decades ago.

Sentiments of the Badagas should be respected and they should be given reservation in education and government jobs.

B. Bellukutty,

Nilgiris.

Magic of May

Kovai with Gul Mohurs and Laburnums in full bloom in May is a visual delight. The City dresses up in reds and yellows that vie with the sunset. Mingling with myriad green, washed clean by summer showers, these trees present startling islands of colour under a canvas of blue skies. Kovai is a beautiful city with a character of its own. Just to move a bit faster in our desperate rush towards Mammon and progress let us not harbour grandiose dreams of the metro rails (The Hindu, May 13) which would devastate our city. A well-planned sky rail in conjunction with a ring rail network is what Kovai needs. Besides meeting communication needs it would give us the time “…to stand and stare” at the magic of May.

M. Vania,

Coimbatore.

Rs. 5 coin

The new Rs. 5 coin is very thin and resembles a 50 paise coin. This is confusing. Will the Government consider minting the Rs. 5 coin in copper to make it distinct from other coins?

R. Ragavan,

Coimbatore.

Bird watching

Day by day Coimbatore’s rural bird population is slowly invading urban areas. Grey wagtail, shikara, small blue King Fisher, Bulbul, tailor bird, peacock etc. have started entering Coimbatore town. The space vacated by house sparrow is now occupied by myna. The wagtail is a nuisance in Avarampalayam. It always sits on water tanks and drops faecal matter there. I have been providing the birds abundant drinking water for the last 20 years. Crow, myna, wagtail and pigeon take bath in wide-mouthed basins at different times of the day. Bird watching is very rare in Coimbatore. Bird conservation is still possible even in industrialised areas.

G.M. Natarajan,

Coimbatore.

e-tickets

IRCTC has stipulated that original ID proof should be submitted for e-tickets. Passengers hesitate to take original copies for fear of losing them and usually take photo copies. Officials harass passengers by asking for the original copies. Nowadays colour copying facility is available and hence IRCTC should allow colour photocopies.

S. Balasubramanian,

Coimbatore.

Tax collection centre

Kuniamuthur Municipality gets the lion’s share of its revenue from property tax and water charges from the residents of Kovaipudur and its surrounding colonies. The municipal office was recently computerised and all tax payers of Kovaipudur, Sundakkamuthur, Ramachettypalayam etc. have to go to Kuniamuthur to pay taxes. In the municipal office there is only a single counter for tax collection and hence there is heavy rush. Before computerisation bill collectors used to sit on specific days in the Nagapillaiyar Kovil campus which is situated at the midpoint of Kovaipudur where public could go and remit the taxes. The arrangement was convenient both for the municipality and the tax payers. The municipal administration should open a computerised collection centre at Kovaipudur.

M.V. Namby,

Coimbatore.

(Readers can mail to cbereaders@thehindu.co.in with address and phone number)

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