Letters to the Editor — July 23, 2021

Oxygen scarcity claim

The Centre’s claim in Parliament that there were no deaths in India due to a lack of oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic is ludicrous (Page 1, “Govt. claim on oxygen-scarcity deaths is appalling, say experts”, July 22).

Shifting the blame on to the States on a mere technicality, when there was an unprecedented surge in oxygen demand during the second wave — requiring the judiciary to intervene — shows a lack of sensitivity on the part of the Centre. This coming at a time when a U.S. study has said that India’s COVID-19 toll may be close to 50 lakh, makes it arguably the worst human tragedy since Partition and Independence.

Dr. Thomas Palocaren,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

The penchant for passing the buck and fudging figures by the current dispensation is worrisome. Its current claim on zero deaths due to oxygen scarcity is cruel. Policymakers tend to assume that the government only needs to provide people with clear information and that, once properly informed, they will automatically do the right thing.

The projection of an idealised version of the country — sanitised, curated, united, strong, in the face of manipulated content and modular malware — leads one to ask: ‘Can the general public trust themselves to do the right thing?’

Anthony Joseph,

New Delhi

It is the height of absurdity for the Centre to make such a statement in Parliament. The world saw the heart-rending visuals of patients and their relatives in trauma in the hunt for oxygen. And the Government had to move oxygen tanks by air. It would have made sense had the Government said that the COVID-19 death count is not yet categorised; thus the numbers are not yet ready.

Dr. D.V.G. Sankararao,

Nellimarla, Andhra Pradesh

The Government is rubbing salt into the wound of families who lost loved ones after the shortage of medical oxygen. The images of serpentine queues of people waiting for oxygen refills and carrying heavy cylinders on their shoulders are indelible. Does the Government believe that citizens have amnesia? It is shocking to see the Government’s brazen attitude. Statements such as the one made in Parliament dent the credibility quotient of the government of the day. The least the Government can do is display a modicum of empathy and admit its blunders.

Deepak Singhal,

Noida, Uttar Pradesh


Agri land conversion

The conversion of wetlands and agricultural land into housing plots is growing in Tamil Nadu. It is quite common to see this while travelling from Sirkali to Mayiladuthurai, Mannargudi to Kumbakonam and then to Thanjavur. However, many such plots lie bare without any construction. Perhaps a law that reconverts the land to agricultural use if no building comes up within five years of having bought the land needs to be introduced.

P. Mukuntharajan,


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 5:59:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-july-23-2021/article35478409.ece

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