Reporters' Diary

Add more coaches

Sir - I regularly travel by West Coast Express from Coimbatore to Kannur. Some times, I travel without reservation. Only two or three general compartments are provided in the West Coast Express; but the number of unreserved travellers is always high and they have to struggle to step into the compartment most of the days and travel by standing for hours together.

Officials of the Palakkad Division may kindly look into this matter and take immediate action to add one or two general compartments to the West Coast Express.

M.T. Karunakaran,


Reducing congestion

Sir - Many feel that the thrill and enjoyment of the ghat section of NMR ceases with Coonoor. The rest of the stretch is more or less akin, by road or rail. Hence, railways can consider scrapping the Coonoor-Ooty track and hand over the land to the State Government for laying a road. This will help reduce congestion on the existing road from Ooty to Coonoor.

N. Dharmeshwaran,


Regulate traffic

Sir - In Coimbatore, Kamarajar Road is a link for Avinashi Road and Trichy Road. There are schools, nursing homes, and apartments, closely located on this road.

A famous cinema hall is also located here. Despite the spinning mills working on three shifts, the crowd in this road during peak hours is unmanageable.

We are unhappy to note that buses ply on this road from morning to night, violating the speed limits prescribed by the transport authorities causing accidents, fear of life for the passengers, students and senior citizens.

Competing with other buses, the drivers do not care for the life of the pedestrians and two-wheeler riders. It is high time the vehicular movement on this street should be regulated with an iron hand, disciplining the drivers of the buses.

C.S. Sabarisanthanam,

Citizens Voice Club,


Postal error

Sir - I had been to the Head Post Office on 7-11-2004 to book a speed post. There, somebody came to send a money order to a village in Salem district.

The person was told that money order service had been suspended and in its place speed post money order was introduced and the person sending M.O. had to pay Rs. five extra for that service and the time taken to reach the money would be a day more. I heard that the service was discontinued for two months.

There is no notification from the Postal Department or the Government in this regard.

We boast of the largest network of postal services in the world. But we don't care or bother about the common people and their needs. It seems in the name of privatisation we ignore the basic needs of people.

We talk only of services to be improved in public services sector, but bother little about the importance of existing services taken away by the Government.

T.R. Krishna,


Sugar-coated pill

Sir - A new fixed deposit scheme exclusively for the senior citizens through the nationalised banks offers an interest rate of 9 per cent per annum. It is stipulated that the minimum period of deposit should be five years and if the amount is withdrawn after a year or more, it would be refunded with penalty.

For the existing fixed deposits the minimum period is 46 days. Senior citizens cannot afford to wait for five years to get the deposit back. Fixing five years for their deposits is highly illogical and unjustifiable. Though no special concession is extended to senior citizens, they should at least be considered on a par with others. The new scheme is only a sugar-coated pill.

If the Government really wants to help senior citizens, they should reduce the minimum period of fixed deposits on a par with others.

B. Arunagirinathan,


Why this prejudice?

Sir - The Government machinery seems to be least bothered about the facilities to be provided to the public before enforcing any law. LPG and CNG are the best available auto-fuel which are eco-friendly. Recently, there was a notification prohibiting the public from using the fuel unless otherwise fitted with the specific fuel tank and the gas-kit by the authorised centres.

But where are the filling stations? Moreover certain auto-brands and models are denied the facility. Why this prejudice? Any jurisprudence stands for justice and let us hope that the authorities concerned will do the needful before enforcing the law.

A.N. Balasubramanian,


A pat for BSNL

Sir - I wish to express my appreciation for the manner in which officials of BSNL, Coimbatore treated me. In these days of callous indifference and lethargy of the officials of public sector undertakings, the work culture and attitude of the officials of the Accounts Section of BSNL, Coimbatore and Telephone Exchange, Tatabad, need to be highlighted.

When I brought to their notice some errors in carrying over outstanding dues on August 9 not only did they apologise for it but also took prompt action in my presence and even offered soft drinks. Such gestures extended to senior citizens like me make us feel proud of our public sector undertakings.

K.G. Ramakrishnan,


Pensioners' woes

Sir - A sum of Rs. 10 is deducted compulsorily from the pensioners every month in order to meet their medical expenses (or their spouse) suffering from terminal illnesses. Alongside, the Government (Director of Pension) has sent out a list of hospitals where the pensioners can undergo treatment for getting their expenses reimbursed. But this list is not available either in sub-treasury or the district treasury. Above all, the pensioners are forced to undergo treatment in hospitals recognised for regular Government servants but the Director of Pension has rejected the medical claims. Hope the government will look into the matter.

R. Krishnamurthy,


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