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‘‘OuoVadis NEHU’’

 Editor,

 Apropos the news report captioned, “NEHU Construction work starts before tender process” (ST August 22, 2018), as a concerned citizen, I am shocked to note that a construction project at a cost of Rs.11,03,847.00 in the NEHU Campus had already been awarded to a certain contractor much before the tendering process. It is beyond the realm of reasons as to how an Executive Engineer of the University could act so unprofessionally and unethically unless there is a dubious motive. Even if the said project is emergent in nature as claimed by the Executive Engineer; can he award the work at his discretion to a contractor of his choice and then issue a tender notice? Certainly there must be a competent body in the University to evaluate and award the work and even if it is so, did the competent body authorise the Executive Engineer to award the work before the tendering process? It is a glaring case of abuse of powers for personal gains. The award of work appears to be pre conceived and floating of tender was an eye wash. Since it is a questionable act, which is now in the public domain, it is expected of the University to take suo moto cognizance by investigating the whole case to unearth and establish the facts before the public.

 Yours etc.,

Via email

Teachers’ Day

Editor,

September 5 is approaching and students will be celebrating Teachers’ Day through various programmes. Gifts will be purchased for teachers) and teachers would have no objection in accepting these gifts. In the Government level functions all good words will be showered on teachers making them feel great on this special day. On this occasion of Teachers’ Day I would like to express my views on how it is observed. First of all, teachers are teachers by default and not by choice, meaning thereby that many become teachers on failing to get any other job. Secondly, barring a few exceptions, teachers’ academic record is generally quite mediocre as students of high calibre would never prefer to be a teacher. Thirdly, most of the teachers are not honest to their profession as they resort to private tuitions and generate parallel incomes which if not illegal is definitely unethical. In my opinion teaching is a profession as good as any other profession and there is no justification in attributing any nobility to this profession.

 Yours etc.

Partha Pratim Sengupta,

Shillong-1

 

Polluting ferro-alloy industry

Editor, 

Apropos the news report “West Khasi Hills villagers want ferro- alloy factory to stay,”  I want to state that the factory was established some ten years back right on the banks of the river Rwiang, 15 km west of Nongstoin town. Right from the time production of ferro-alloys this factory has been the source of pollution and environmental hazards. Daily, there is emission of voluminous toxic carbon fumes from the factory which engulfs the adjacent three villages of Rwiang, Mawbyrngem and Tiniang having a combined population of about 550 to 600 hundred people living in about 100 odd dwelling houses. When the huge smoke is released from the factory the atmosphere surrounding the area of the three villages is enveloped in smoke. People living in these villages suffer from breathing problems and many, especially young people and children have already developed lungs related diseases. Moreover, the factory discharges industrial toxic wastes straight into the adjacent Rwiang river thereby polluting the crystal clear waters of this once pristine river. This famous river used to be the favourite fishing spot for anglers of West Khasi Hills. I wonder if any of the indigenous rare species of fishes can still survive in this river, especially in the down- stream portions, hugely polluted by this factory. As reported in the media the Hynniewtrep Youth Council of Nongstoin circle has gone to Rwiang to inspect the factory and have demanded its immediate closure for the environmental hazards that it has already caused and for other violations of the relevant laws.

I urge the government authorities concerned, especially the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board and the NGT to step in and ensure that this factory and other factories in Meghalaya especially that those plants responsible for causing environmental hazards are closed down to avoid further environmental catastrophe in the state. On the plea by some people of the area that this factory should stay there for reasons stated by them as mentioned in the above news item, I wish to state that they only voice the concerns and vested interests of the management of the factory and not necessarily their own. Even if it is their own the environmental hazards that the factory has caused so far and will continue to cause in the future is too great to compensate for any benefit derived by the few people who came forward in defence of the factory.

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

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