Haldwani hardships; Horror in air; Lurking global gloom

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Opinion Watch

Haldwani hardships

Over 5,000 families came up to live on encroached land of the Railways in Haldwani, Uttarakhand. The sand mafia grabbed the land to build habitations. This is an old story, scripted without any fail by politicians, mafias and babus in a nexus which is never punished.

The Pioneer in an Editorial noted that the encroachments came to light in 2013 in an illegal sand mining case. The Supreme Court has put a pause on the eviction of the people, as the apex court took the position that 50,000 people couldn’t be evicted overnight. “Statesmen, they say, think of the next generation, politicians of the next election – and Indian politicians of the next Twitter trends,” the Noida-based daily stated. The daily rightly stated that the issue of chronic for India, as encroachment for plotting and illegal usurpation of land is a norm in India.

Yet, it’s pertinent to note that India is lagging behind the affordable housing needs of the people. Ministries of Defence and Railways are India’s landlords. Recently, the Railways agreed to vacate a parcel of land in Karnataka for development of infrastructure. It will be worthwhile for an exhaustive audit of the land banks with Defence and Railways Ministries to find out what is required for them and the rest should be freed for planned habitations to address the housing and infrastructure needs of the people and the cities.

Horror in air

Wealth is no guarantee to civility. This was revealed to a senior citizen woman, travelling in the business class of Air India, when a man, fully inebriated, urinated upon her. Worse, the Air India crew made her suffer more with an outrageous response, which doesn’t behove a Tata Group enterprise.

The Asian Age in an Editorial has called the incident unforgivable, and slammed the delay in reporting the case, which took place in November last year, to the law-enforcement agencies. The complaint of the woman is now trending on the social media, which has graphic details of the incident. The daily has called the incident obnoxious. The daily has argued that the existing punishment of ‘no-fly’ to such delinquent may not be enough, as seen in the rising number of cases, while asking for hefty monetary fines and also accompanying jail terms for the offenders.

It’s indeed baffling that the matter had reached the Chairman of Air India and still the victim had to suffer for over one month, with the airlines acting as a broker for over two months. This should shame the House of Tata, and the case may be made an exemplar by sacking the full strength of the cabin crew for being insensitive to a senior citizen passenger.

Lurking global gloom

The people may have to fasten their seat belts, for the global economy in 2023 is being projected to see the worst on account of the spill over effects of the Russia-Ukraine War and the massive printing of currencies by several countries to beat the pandemic blues.

Kolkata-based The Telegraph in an Editorial has quoted Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to make a sense of the dark clouds hovering over the global economy. The daily stated that the global economic growth will slow down from 3.2 per cent to 2.7 per cent in 2023, and the global inflation would slide from 8.8 per cent 6.5 per cent, but that would not be enough.

The global economy is in a reset, and there are too many negative surprises in store – war, China, inflation, etc. This is an opportunity for rapid skilling in India.

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