Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chennai Auto fares fixed after seven long years

We at Bhumi started a campaign on on June 25, 2012 to fix the auto fares in Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu. 16,632 people signed the petition and we met the government several times, it has all finally paid off

The government of Tamilnadu have announced the revised Auto meter fares today

I received a call from the Transport Minister an hour back (Aug 25, 10AM) with the following details

  • Minimum fare for the first 1.8 Km is Rs.25, and for every additional Km is Rs.12.
  • Between 11pm to 5am the charges would be 50 percent in addition to the fare.
  • Waiting charges for 5 minutes would be Rs.3.50 and for an hour it is Rs.42.
  • Complaint mechanism helpline 'like 108' will be established
  • It's the first time in India that the GPS electronic meter is going to be used, which would record the details of the journey travelled and has a panic button, that if pressed by the customer would alarm the police.
  • GPS electronic meter will be issued for free by the government free, at a cost of Rs.80-90 crores
  • From the news: Drivers charging extra will get their licence suspended or the auto will be seized.
  • From the news: The corrected fares comes to effect immediately and the final deadline to the fix meter is October 15th. 
  • Reference - Relevant Government Order
Lots of people to thank: 
  • Our Chief Minister Ms.J. Jayalalithaa
  • The Transport Minister Mr.Senthil Balaji
  • The officials of the state transport department 
  • The 16,632 people who signed the petition to make this happen. Our voice was amplified 16,000 times because of you! 
  • Members of the press, especially The Times of India - Karthikeyan Hemalatha
  • - for creating the platform, esp. Surendran Balachandran for all the guidance & encouragement
  • The awesome team at Bhumi, anything is possible as a team!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who is dividing India?

The BJP was ruling at Gujarat and at the centre when a four day riot killed 2000 Muslims and Hindus in 2002. Despicable, yes!

The Congress and the UPA are rule at the centre over the last 9 years has been charcterised by communal politics targeted at the Muslim vote bank like setting special courts for 'terror cases involving Minorities' and irresponsible statements portraying themselves as the self proclaimed guardians of minorities.

So, who's polarising the country more? A one decade old incident or every day divisive anti-national politics?

There are hordes of politicians from the congress, the BJP and every other teeny weeny political party who have been playing caste based vote bank politics with reservations, inter-caste rivalry, honour killings etc. There seems to be hardly any difference between the British who divided to rule us before independence and the majority of the current political class.

Doesn't Modi who has never played any caste based politics stand out as a Beacon of hope?
Have we as a nation forgotten that it's unity that gives us strength?
Doesn't this great nation deserve better?
INDIA deserves to be MODIfied... starting 2014!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Amusing political drama with an Italian Twist

Hundreds of fishermen from Tamil nadu have been killed over the last few decades by the Sri Lankan Navy (530 according to wikipedia). The fishermen might have been fishing in Sri Lankan waters as claimed by their navy; but killing them for an economic offence can never be justified, the same way their Military can never justify the Genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils for political reasons.

In Feb 2012, when Italian Marines shot at an Indian fishing boat off the coast of Kerala killing two Indian fishermen, they were imprisoned and legally prosecuted. Since then, the politicians of Kerala including those in power have consistently demanded justice and raised (crappy) nationalist sentiments.

Surprisingly, of the two fishermen killed, one was a Tamil and a year on, not a whimper from any of the major Tamil politicians!

Now that we have let the Italians off the hook due to our stupidity, they join a infamous list of foreigners whom we deliberately let off the hook like Ottavio Quattrocchi, Kim Davy, Warren Anderson etc. (PS: No disrespect for Supreme Court here, but the Italians simply played their cards better!)

Suddenly all this nationalist ruckus in the parliament, calls for economic sanctions against Italy and prosecuting the Italian Envoy! I can't feel a tinge of amusement at all the political drama and disappointment that our shameless Tamil Politicians despite sharing power at the centre for a major part of the last two decades did nothing concrete to put an end to the killings.

Shame on you... Shame on us!

PS: All this drama is unadulterated politics, majority of Indian Politicians who matter do not care about people suffering/dying etc. If you think otherwise, go laugh at yourself.