Today's letters

Today's letters

Property tax collection citizen unfriendly
True to the BBMP ethos the property tax collection procedure is archaic, and citizen unfriendly. Self assessment forms were submitted in 2008-09 and the tax remains unchanged for five years except where there is change in usage or extent of the property.  Even where there is no change the tax payer has to file a self assessment form. This was so last year also. Break up of tax amount has to be mentioned in two places and payment details in three places. Where is the need for such returns when all the details are on the BBMP website and can be recalled by just entering the PID number?We have to pay only in the concerned wards and if one has properties in different wards he has to go to different offices and pay. When the data is computerized and one can pay on line from Delhi or Dubai why can’t one pay for more than one property at any one of the ward offices convenient to the tax payer?

There is also confusion as to where tax has to be paid. On the 20th I went to the BBMP office in LIC Colony Jayangar. I was told to go Shalini Maidan Office in 5th block.  There they refused to take the payment saying I had to go back to the LIC Colony Office. It took several phone calls to BBMP offices seeking help for an 84 year old citizen and instructions issued to Shalini Maidan to accept my tax. Interestingly, within one hour of turning me away the LIC Colony office accepted tax from my neighbour in the same building !

BBMP actually issues two receipts – one is a counterfoil of the self assessment form and another laboriously hand written on brown paper. Why not a single computer printed receipt? In some centers like Banashankari  where I paid tax  on the  21st I was  asked to go back after two days to collect the receipt. Commissioner Meena is said to be a very capable officer and I trust he will ensure that citizens are not harassed.

A.S.Srinivasa Murthy

Thanks to IPL, Indian cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game
Cricket was played as a gentleman’s game in the countries that were administered by the British. West Indies had great players like the three W’s – Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott and Everton Weekes.After gaining Independence, India made an indelible mark on the World’s cricket map, thanks to great and dedicated players like the Nawab of Pataudi, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Ghulam Ahmed, Dattu Phadkar, C.K.Nayudu, C.K.Rangachari, Chandu Borde, Bapu Nadkarni, C.S.Ramchand and many others, who were inspired by their peers. Jamsaheb Ranjitsinhji of Nawanagar, Maharaja of Vizianagaram.  A reluctant M.C.C. that was controlling cricket everywhere had to recognize free India as a cricketing nation. 

 With the advent of the IPL, what a mess India’s cricket finds itself in. The IPL seeks only publicity and money through three W’s  – wealth, wine and women. Its political ramifications have become a headache to the government. It has consumed the job of one minister of the government. One or more seem to be waiting in the queue.

The IPL head says that he has done no wrong and will tell all and expose involvement of some more politicians if an inquiry is ordered by government. This is pure blackmailing. Why should he wait for the government to order an inquiry? Income Tax authorities have been conducting a thorough inquiry. The BCCI has asked for his explanation. If he has any self-respect and sense of morality, he should volunteer to help the inquiry process by handing over all the information that he has been keeping under the wraps instead of using that for blackmailing. Otherwise, he should frankly declare himself a traitor and face the consequences. The earlier he sheds his arrogance and criminal audacity, the better it is for the country and cricket too.Interestingly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which is expected to act as a facilitator and regulator, seems to be in a state of slumber. What kind of control has it exercised on the likes of Lalit Modi who is on its staff? If anything, it has meekly succumbed to the pressure exerted by him, obviously with the 3 W’s in his repertory. If the BCCI has to act as a regulatory body, it has miserably failed for the simple reason that several top politicians have set their eyes on the booty that lies in the BCCI kitty.  It is high time that in the interests of the country and cricket, BCCI is immediately abolished and replaced by an apolitical regulatory mechanism with powers to prosecute offenders like Modi, Tharoor and Poorna Patel. Meanwhile immigration officials must keep a watch on the movements of Lalit Modi, lest he should flee the country to frustrate and foil further investigations.

Poorna Patel, the daughter of the civil aviation minister who represents the political party of the former BCCI president, had the temerity to bully airline officials and hijack a scheduled Air India flight to help an IPL team in which she had stakes. An official of the airline has tried to justify by stating it to be a commercial deal. The scheduled flight in which passengers were traveling after paying the airlines for the tickets was afterall a commercial flight This airline official who favoured the high jacking and the one who approved it must be sacked forthwith after a suo motu enquiry. These officials and Poorna Patel must be arraigned under the Anti-high jacking laws and for violation of the regulations stipulated by the International Aviation regulator the IATA as regards diversion of flights for commercial purposes under political pressure..

 The honest tax paying common man cannot suffer this IPL disease any more. The sooner IPL is banned the better it will be for the country.

A.V.Gururaja Rau

Security not a valid excuse for tapping phones
Shri.Abhishek Singhvi,the Congress Spokesman,appeared on a private television news channel (Timesnow) . He defended his party's move to tap the phones of various political leaders. saying that "perhaps the UPA Government had reasons to tap the phones on grounds of national security"

This is most absurd and ridiculous.What security threat does Digvijay Singh pose,what security threat do Sharad Pawar and Nitish Kumar along with Lalu Prasad Yadav pose ? Perhaps, phones of Rahul Gandhi and Robert Vadhera could have been tapped.We could have got conversations recordings of Quotracchi's voice !!!  Does it mean that except Dr. Manmohan Singh,Sonia Gandhi and her family members all others are a threat to National Security ?

Kanakapura Main Rd

Tapping the phone – a must for nation’s security
The opposition is crying hoarse at the reported ‘phone tapping’ of their leaders. It is strange that whenever any ruling party at the State or at the Centre indulges in ‘phone tapping’, it  is charged with misusing CBI, use of the intelligence agencies for selfish use. World wide, tapping of the phones, mobiles, internet messages have become common and important for not only security of the countries but also for  tracking the ‘enemy’ movements.  Recently the Home Ministry banned the SMS and the pre-paid mobiles in Kashmir to prevent militant activities.

The intelligence input from foreign countries and exchange of intelligence has been motivated by the spurt in terrorist activities as well as piracy etc., KGB, CIA, ISI, RAW are working overtime to track enemies at work. Did not the opposition charge the government of ‘intelligence failure” for the 26 x 11 and the Kargil episode? There are cases of money laundering, hawala trade, circulation of fake notes as also exchange of information among the Maoists, Bodo militants, Taliban and the underground criminals. Can any government ‘give up tapping’ at the cost of nation’s security?. Why should the opposition cry hoarse, if they have nothing to hide?

K N Bhagavan,

A legend departs
A legend has passed away recently. Col John (Papa) Wakefield, who was singularly instrumental in making Jungle Lodges what it is today, is no more. Papa was brought to Karnataka by the late Gundu Rao, then CM of Karnataka, to replicate what he had established in Nepal, in 1980.

Since then, for the past 30 years, Papa lived in a single room in Kabini, and presided over the functioning of Jungle Lodges. He was a raconteur par excellence and kept listeners spellbound by his knowledge of wildlife, the early hunters-turned-conservationists, and even British and Indian history.

 He traced his ancestry back to the Wakefield who wrote the Constitution of Canada and to the one who discovered Adelaide, Australia. The evenings spent in his company in his verandah were always special. He will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Ajit K Huilgol
Sahakara Nagar,