Noida corruption towers now debris; Understanding freebies; South Asian climate horror

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Opinion Watch

Twin towers brought down by 3700 kgs of explosive preceded the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, and stood testimony to naked corruption in the Noida Authority, which blessed the builders to run their jungle raj.

The Times of India and The Pioneer have come out with lead Edits on the grand Sunday spectacle that gave nine seconds of thrills to international audience.

ToI underlines that 77 per cent of the total assets of an average household are held in real estate.

This again is an irony for the country where the people are obsessed with real-estate to fall prey to the predator builders.

The daily noted that the unveiling of RERA has to a great extent brought order among the builders. But no laws in India are enough to end corruption in the urban bodies such as Noida Authority or its peers in other cities.

That’s evident since even after RERA the builders continue to harass the home buyers by finding innovative ways with the connivance of the officials.

TP chronicled the twin towers corruption saga, stating that the project envisaged 14 towers with nine floors each, but that subsequently became 40 floors with the Noida Authority looking the other way to the daylight robbery by the builder.

The Emerald Court residents had moved the Allahabad High Court in 2012, and won the demolition order.

Now the task for the courts is clear that the home buyers must fully be compensated with not less than 18 per cent annual interest on money paid by them to the builders.

Understanding freebies  

Loud discourse of politics of freebies has equated welfarism with bribery of voters. The states with deep pockets indeed give incentive to the political parties the cushion to bribe the voters ahead of the polls.

The Hindu in its Edit on the trending issue has referred to an earlier judgment in S. Subramaniam Balaji vs Tamil Nadu (2013), which ruled that making promises in a manifesto would not amount to a corrupt practice.

“The proceedings before a Bench, headed by the now retired Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, last week, offered crucial perspectives on the political economy of welfarism, socialism and pre-election promises of ‘freebies’. Over the few hearings, the Bench moved from vague references to ‘freebies’ to making rational distinctions between welfare schemes and socio-economic concessions on the one hand, and poll-time announcements of material goods and items as incentives to vote,” TH added in its comment.

The DMK promise in the 2006 state elections to distribute television sets to the poor was given the nod on the rationale of the Directive Principle of the Constitution.

Beauty of the Indian Constitution is that its provisions can be interpreted in several ways to suit one’s narratives.

Now political parties offer bicycles, mobile handsets, laptops and so on. Thus, objectively pinning down the meaning of freebies would prove to be daunting, and the judiciary may end up wasting its time at the cost of other important tasks.

South Asian climate horror

Pakistan has been ravaged by super floods. Over 1000 people have died, and millions displaced after the flash bloods and dam bursts led to submergence of vast parts of Sindh, Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan and other parts of the country.

The Hindustan Times has commented on one of the worst humanitarian tragedy in Pakistan, calling for a south Asian climate plan.

The daily informs that the confluence of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalaya has over 7000 glaciers.

HT noted that South Asia’s extreme heat, extreme rains and extreme cold conditions make the region vulnerable.

Indeed, India accounts for about four or less per cent of the global carbon emission, while Pakistan claims that its share is less than one per cent.

Still, Pakistan has allowed the Chinese thugs to dig the mountains in the fragile zones and build dams.

But a south Asian plan will first require working relations among the constituent countries. That is the missing link for any such plan.

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