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Information on Shukhobrishti

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

There are of course lots of ways that companies make money. Especially real estate companies. One that I find particularly galling is the method of selling brochures and `application kits’ for buying flats. One cannot find out any details about the internal plans of the buildings without paying a substantial sum. It seems more an more information is withheld by each new builder.

Take the case of Shapoorji Pallonji, who have advertised for 1BHK and 3BHK apartments in their project Shukhobrishti. The 1BHK is meant for families in the Low Income Group (LIG), with monthly gross family income under 15000, while the 3BHK is meant for families in something called MIG-U, meaning presumably Middle Income Group-Upper, with monthly gross family income below 40000.

You need to register and pay for an application kit online, only then you get to know if you are eligible to apply for a flat there. And the Rs. 750/- that you have paid for it is non-refundable, so even if you cannot apply, you are stuck with an application kit which no one else may fill in. Surely the above information is not some deep secret which could not be put up on the main website?

 

 

AMRI: Boycott Emami and Shrachi

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I am reposting the relevant paragraphs from my previous post:

Boycott the Emami group and its brands: Emami Baby Massage Oil, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder, Fair and Handsome, Hairlife, Himani Fast Relief, Malai Kesar Cold Cream, Mentho Plus, Navratna Cool Talc, Navratna Extra Thanda, Navratna Lite, Navratna Oil, Sonachandi Amritprash, Sonachandi Chyawanprash and also all Zandu products, as well as Starmark bookshops and the Emami/Landmark market in Lord Sinha Road.Say No to Emami products

The Shrachi group is mostly into real estate development and agricultural machinery, but it has a few restaurants which can be boycotted: Blue Hugli/News at the Hometown mall in Rajarhat New Town, Sarson in the South City mall, and Buzz Court at the Junction mall in Durgapur.

If you are willing to go a bit further, boycott the South City mall, which is a joint venture between these two groups (and some others) and the Junction mall, Durgapur, which is purely Shrachi.

It may not be possible to strictly boycott all of these for all time, but you may want to consider boycotting all of these for a month. And please copy the list of brands from above and paste to your blog and to facebook and ask your friends and family to boycott these brands. Thank you.

AMRI: Boycott the guilty

December 10, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday’s fire at the AMRI Dhakuria killed at least 90, of them 87 were patients. Many of them were probably under sedation, or so ill that they might not have been able to save themselves even if they knew what was happening. All the more reason for a hospital to make fire exits and have enough external openings for firemen to get in and out.

Many stories are heard about how the fire started, and how the hospital had violated regulations by turning a basement parking lot into a storage area where inflammable stuff was kept (diesel and motor oil for generators, rumors say). But that part is not the most important: would it have made a difference if the fire spread through legitimate, non-regulation-violating, objects in the hospital?

The real issue, and where the hospital authorities are guilty, is what happened after the fire started. The fire alarms did not work. Local slum-dwellers alerted the security guards to the fire, but the guards did not call the fire service. (Apparently some years ago, a guard had called the fire department during a smaller fire that was put under control by the guards themselves. That guard was nearly fired himself,  and was allowed to continue working after a stern warning. Probably because the hospital owners did not want the fire dept to know that fire safety regulations were being grossly violated!) When the fire engines arrived, they could not come close to the hospital because it was in a narrow lane, with only one entrance. The entire building was glass, essentially sealed,  so most people actually died of suffocation.

The hospital owners are guilty of ignoring many regulations to maximize their profit (and the doctors who work there also did not care about such things, even though many of them have trained abroad, where there are strict fire regulations). They have been arrested, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, wants to see them punished.

But our courts are slow, and these people will stay in jail while their bail petitions are heard, and their bail petitions will go all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary, and quite likely they will ultimately make bail and it will be several years before the courts will decide on their culpability. In the meanwhile, there is something we can do — we can boycott the owners.This will serve the additional purpose of providing them with less money for hiring the top lawyers.

Boycott the Emami group and its brands: Emami Baby Massage Oil, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder, Fair and Handsome, Hairlife, Himani Fast Relief, Malai Kesar Cold Cream, Mentho Plus, Navratna Cool Talc, Navratna Extra Thanda, Navratna Lite, Navratna Oil, Sonachandi Amritprash, Sonachandi Chyawanprash and these day, all Zandu products, as well as Starmark bookshops and the Emami/Landmark market in Lord Sinha Road.

The Shrachi group is mostly into real estate development and agricultural machinery, but it has a few restaurants which can be boycotted: Blue Hugli/News at the Hometown mall in Rajarhat New Town, Sarson in the South City mall, and Buzz Court at the Junction mall in Durgapur.

If you are willing to go a bit further, boycott the South City mall, which is a joint venture between these two groups (and some others) and the Junction mall, Durgapur, which is purely Shrachi.

It may not be possible to strictly boycott all of these for all time, but you may want to consider boycotting all of these for a month. And please copy the list of brands from above and paste to your blog and to facebook and ask your friends and family to boycott these brands. Thank you.

Teaching without grading

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

This should really go into a category of real life dark humour or something similar. It seems that some faculty at the Indian Statistical Institute have come up with a truly original position. They taught some courses, set the exam papers for those courses, but then refused to grade the papers, saying that they are not bound to grade papers by their service rules. Since the students were in their final semester and in danger of not getting their B.Stat degrees, a committee was constituted, which conducted and graded another exam on the same subject.

Now of course some other faculty have joined them, or at least expressed an wish to do so. The academic council, a toothless body in any case, has not come up with any idea of what to do if more faculty take this position. It is also not clear what brought this on. Someone suggested that Bhatnagar awards might have caused some kind of madness.

Complaints about Calcutta Telephones

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment

For various reasons, I needed to look up a way of filing a complaint with Calcutta Telephones. Their telephone helpline gave up after a while and told me that any further complaint would have to be forwarded to `the concerned department’.So I went to their website looking for an email address or pone number of the department I was interested in.

What I found is that they have a `public grievance’ webpage, but the information given is all wrong. The phone numbers for the nodal officer (for the Calcutta telephone District) are not valid numbers, and the email address (or phone numbers) for the appellate authority are not valid either.

Looks like a good way to keep the complaints down.

France and Bengal

August 1, 2010 Leave a comment

While the French are busy banning the burqa, we Bengalis are busy forcing it on the unwilling. Sirin Middya, a part time lecturer at the nearby Aliah University, has been barred from taking classes for the last three months by the students’ union, because she refuses to wear a burqa.

The problem seems to be that the university is silent on the issue, as is the minority affairs minister. The university should come out and say clearly that those who are supposed to attend her classes, but do not, will be barred from taking the final exam, and thus the degree. Any student who stops her from entering the university or disrupts her classes must be banned from the university.

It is strange that a government which claims to be leftist is quiet on religious fundamentalism and its conflict with individual choice. It only proves that this government is not really leftist. Their economics has always been right-wing, now their philosophy has become fundamentalist.

Bengal’s Ceausescu

January 10, 2010 2 comments

Jyoti Basu is in intensive care since the beginning of the new year. He was put on the ventilator on the 6th. Of course, under his rule, the state went on the ventilator many years ago, and has not come out yet.

Categories: Calcutta, Politics Tags: ,