Letters to the Editor — January 10, 2022
The announcement of the Assembly election schedule for five States amidst the Omicron-driven third wave in the country poses challenges despite assurances being made by the Election Commission of India (Page 1, January 9). The pace of vaccination has not reached the desired level. Given the bitter experience of the second COVID-19 wave, conducting risk-free elections is crucial. It will indeed be a daunting task to ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour especially as the ECI has said that it will review the situation on January 15. The ECI should insist on the requisite undertakings in this regard from all the parties in the fray. Administering the booster dose to all staff on election duties should be ensured. All said and done, the ECI should have at least waited for the flattening of the Omicron curve in India.
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
The announcement seems to disregard the prevailing COVID-19 situation. With the country seeing the highest spike of new COVID-19 cases in 222 days, holding Assembly elections so soon seems unwise. As Omicron is highly contagious and has the propensity to infect vaccinated people also, our health-care systems could get overwhelmed with staff shortages if a tsunami of infected cases occurs.
Dr. Thomas Palocaren,
Vellore, Tamil Nadu
PM’s convoy incident
The way the incident in which the convoy of the Prime Minister was stopped for 20 minutes or so in Punjab, mainly due to a sudden change in his travel mode, has been blown out of proportion is quite shocking. It is as if there was a dark plan to deliberately endanger the life of the Prime Minister. While the security of tall leaders is paramount, it is unfortunate that it is being used by the ruling party to gain political mileage.
Only a dispassionate inquiry into the entire incident will establish the real truth.
Tharcius S. Fernando,
River sand use
The decision by the Tamil Nadu government clearing the decks for the use of river sand in construction needs to be revisited. Massive and unchecked river sand mining in the past has had a deep ecological impact in the State. When other cities and towns are using M-sand and other alternatives, one wonders why Tamil Nadu is going back to this plan after about a decade.
Vellore, Tamil Nadu