The Government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for all. It is a good thing. We hope that the Chief Secretary, the Government of Assam will take action to inform the public about the active Aadhaar centres available in Assam so that people can register for Aadhaar cards.
Dr. Buljit Buragohain,
Attacks on journalists
It seems that free expression of views and unbiased dissemination of news is not possible these days. It is often seen that a range of tools is used to suppress freedom of press and intimidate journalists, including censorship, arbitrary detention, restrictive or repressive legislation, harassment, false charges and arrests, physical attacks and defamation.
Sources reveal that in the past decade, a journalist has been killed on an average every four days in the entire world. The saddest fact is that in nine out of ten such cases, the killers go unpunished.
In a democratic set up, the press can act as a bridge between the government and the people. Being the fourth pillar of democracy, press exercises the right of freedom of speech and expression. It wields such a strong influence in a democratic polity that it has been described as the Fourth Estate. Apart from being a crucial instrument of accountability, the media is also an instrument of communication. As such, violence against journalists and media workers must be prevented at any cost. It's high time the government did its utmost to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference. Also, perpetrators of crimes against them need to be brought to justice. It should not be forgotten that impunity leads to more such killings. It must be ensured that the victims have access to appropriate remedies.
BJP general secretary C.T. Ravi has demanded that Delhi's premier institute, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), be renamed as Swami Vivekananda University. He tweeted, "It was Swami Vivekananda who stood for the idea of Bharat. His philosophy and values signify the strength of Bharat. It is only right that Jawaharlal Nehru University is renamed Swami Vivekananda University. The life of Bharat's patriotic saint will inspire generations to come." This is a prejudiced demand and shows that the BJP has been trying to play with historical facts by promoting its ideologies. The need of the hour is that the BJP does not misuse its power and must establish the constitutional values that promote national integrity, harmony, and peace in society.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,
Exploitation by builders
Because of high prices of land, purchasing flats has become an easier option for people, especially in a city like Guwahati, as also other places in Assam. However, many irregularities are taking place, and approvals and permission are flaunted by builders and developers, mostly in connivance with architects, building consultants, engineers, as also government officials involved in giving permission for construction projects - big and small, commercial and residential. This is an extremely dangerous trend, which is hazardous for the lives of people, and also the maintainability of such projects. More often than not, extra floors are constructed, and huge deviations, beyond permissible limits, take place in each floor, accommodating many more units than permitted. Occupation certificates are given by the authorities even after knowing the deviations. Many constructions are taking place even without requisite permission. There is a devilish nexus, and unregulated construction is taking place all around.
Builders are also fooling the ignorant public with wrong building and floor plans, with huge deviations between super built-up area and carpet area. In almost all projects, neither open space nor extra facility is provided, duping the customers, as also the government revenue.
Though RERA Bill was passed by the Parliament, it seems it is just a piece of paper in Assam, with no visible steps to implement the provisions of the Act. It is important that the civic and government authorities step-in, and take steps to check unregulated mushrooming of construction activities, violating the permission and approvals, before it is too late as also to prevent calamities.
Further, the builders are charging exorbitant rates and exploiting the public. Many times land pieces are taken over from bonafide owners by force.
Lack of an effective regulatory body and lackadaisical attitude of law-enforcing agencies are adding problems to the general public.
A concerned citizen,
Baghjan oil well blowout
It is welcome that Oil India Limited (OIL) has finally succeeded to cap the oil well at Baghjan under Doomdoma revenue circle of Tinsukia district. It is reported that the blowout well has been killed with brine solution and the situation is now under control. The fire has been completely doused.
But inhabitants near the Baghjan well are not sure till now. As such, the OIL should take measures to compensate the victims.