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Intemperate use of chain saws in Garo Hills


In the wake of rampant illegal tree felling in the state which threatens to destroy the very ecology that we so proudly boast of, one major issue that needs to be discussed and tackled is the regulation of chain-saw laws. Talking about Garo Hills, the demand for chain-saws in and around the region has drastically surged which is a clear indication of the rising trend of its use. Chain saws have wreaked havoc as their use is completely unchecked and unregulated. Anyone today can get their hands on a chain saw for a meagre sum and there is no law to check who is buying it and what purpose he is buying it for. Both the buyer and the seller should be brought under the law and its possession and sale should both be made a licensed process which would help in checking the use of the machines as well as make people accountable for any illegal felling of trees that may be carried out through their licensed machine. Therefore, through your esteemed daily, I would like to make an appeal to the concerned authorities and to the ministry, to look into the matter and immediately regulate the use of chain saws in the state.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request


Speed breakers necessary on national highways  


Through this column, we would like to express our points of view over the concerns raised by Dominic S Wankhar through his letter “Why speed breakers on national highways (ST Jan 18, 2018)? Wankhar has questioned the erection of speed breakers along the National Highway in East Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya. We would like to inform him and all readers that the Jaintia Students Movement Central Body has submitted a memorandum to the PWD Minister, the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Commissioner of both East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills on 6th March 2016. In the said memorandum, we have urged the Government to construct speed breakers and footbridges in strategic locations like Lad Rymbai, Khliehriat, Wapung and Mookhep amongst other in East Jaintia Hills District where there are residences and schools and in these areas several trucks and other vehicles pass through thereby posing danger to the life of the people, especially school children who have to cross the road or walk along the national highway.

We hope that the life of the people and the school children are more precious than the vehicle of Dominic S Wankhar or other commuters travelling through the National Highway in these two districts. We appealed to you all to please bear with the inconveniences caused to him. These speed-breakers are important for the safety of people living in these two districts.

Thanking You

Yours etc.,

Leningstar Rymbai,

Via email

Irregular supply of LPG


I wish to draw the attention of the concerned authorities to the letters to the editor published repeatedly by The Shillong Times, to complain about the unending problem of LPG supply to consumers. Recently I read a letter from an LPG consumer from Mawprem, Jhalupara, Mawlai, Nongthymmai and yesterday I read a letter on the same subject appearing in the same newspaper written by an LPG consumer from Laban, Kenches Trace.

Now, the question is who listens to these open complaints? I wonder if  the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills and his team of officials who look after LPG supply in Shillong city are listening and whether they care to respond. Perhaps they don’t care, otherwise, by now supply of LPG would not be a problem at all. In fact, LPG in the black market is readily available at a price. The fact of the matter is that LPG consumers from Khasi Pnar Gas Agency are suffering silently because they get only one LPG cylinder after a gap of every two months. This is indeed terrible and also a crime. Will the DC, who is also in charge of Consumer Affairs in the District do something about this? Moreover, the home delivery fee charged by this Agency is much higher than other Gas Agencies of Shillong. This is unacceptable, yet the consumers choose to keep quiet!

Yours etc.,

An LPG consumer,

Name withheld on request


Pay & Perks of Parliamentarians


In India the remuneration of an MP includes a basic salary of Rs 50,000 per month, Rs 45,000 as constituency allowance apart from free residence, free VIP class air travel and highest class railway travel facilities inter-alia other allowances and countless perks. The Government spends roughly Rs 2.7 lakh per MP per month. The number of MPs with assets worth over Rs 1 crore rose sharply from 319 in 2009 to 449 at present. As per rough estimate about 24 percent or 132 Lok Sabha members have declared assets worth over Rs 10 crore. Reportedly the average value of MPs’ assets in the 16th Lok Sabha is Rs 14.61 crore.

In the above perspective on January 28, BJP MP Varun Gandhi has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to  initiate what he termed a “movement” to encourage economically advantaged Lok Sabha members to forego their remunerations for the remaining term of the Lower House. Varun believes such a move would certainly reinforce people’s faith in their representatives. A voluntary exercise such as this would also send a positive message across the nation regarding the level of sensitivity the elected representatives possess. Varun Gandhi has also suggested the creation of an independent, statutory body to ascertain the affordability of the move and the need for an increase in fiscal compensation for MPs.

The Sultanpur MP expressed grave concern over the growing/widening inequality in the country which is detrimental to democracy. A growing economic gap and divide in the country between the privileged and affluent class and the majority of people of the country who cannot afford to have two square meals in a day is threatening survival of democracy. He asserted that the people’s representatives have an important role to play and be more responsive to the socio-economic realities of the country as they are also public servants. He , however, underlined that the move may trouble a few MPs.

Varun Gandhi, a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, unlike all other members of the family, is the only politician of the country who has raised such a fundamental issue. He  deserves kudos! That he has the conscience, courage and guts to make such a move is revolutionary and highly commendable.

Yours etc.,

Samares Bandyopadhyay

Advocate, Kolkata High Court


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