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Need to think ahead

Meal for plastic is a good idea, but what next?

By The Telegraph

  • Published 22.12.19, 2:10 AM
  • Updated 22.12.19, 2:10 AM
Burning plastic waste or dumping it in landfills — as most civic bodies are wont to do — are not sustainable solutions
Burning plastic waste or dumping it in landfills — as most civic bodies are wont to do — are not sustainable solutions (Shutterstock)

Sir — It is heartening that the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has started the ‘Meal for Plastic’ scheme in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. The civic body will serve a meal in exchange for half a kilogramme of plastic waste. But one is forced to ask what the body plans to do with the plastic that it will collect. Will it be effectively recycled? Burning plastic waste or dumping it in landfills — as most civic bodies are wont to do — are not sustainable solutions. People must be taught to recycle plastic themselves as a long-term solution.

Kakoli Das

Calcutta

Read the signs

Sir — The United States House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump. With this, Trump has become the third president to meet such a fate in 231 years. Even though it is clear that the holder of the “highest and most sacred office” in the United States of America put his personal interests before that of his country, the Republicans have compared the impeachment to crucifixion, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Salem witch trials. This demonstrates the level of sycophancy and servility in American politics. It is no secret that Trump is a racist, white supremacist, xenophobic, religious bigot; his impeachment was like giving a bully a bloody nose.

It is unfortunate that in spite of all this Trump is unlikely to be removed from office as the Republicans have a majority in the US Senate. The Grand Old Party is unlikely to pronounce him guilty. Trump is conducting himself as if the impeachment does not matter, but the infamy associated with impeachment is sure to cast a shadow on his re-election campaign. It will be a millstone around his neck. The impeachment is a salutary lesson to a leader who brags that he can and will do whatever he wants to: no one is above the law.

G. David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Sir — Even if Donald Trump is ultimately not removed from his post, the indictment by the lower House will mar his image. He would do well to treat it as a warning.

Rima Roy

Calcutta

Travel guide

Sir — The chief minister did well to develop Digha as a tourist destination. But, even after all this expenditure, unsavoury elements are arriving there by the bus loads. In order to avoid this, better administrative and law enforcement measures need to be put in place.

Further, it must be ensured that the businesses that will now develop in Digha are of a certain standard. It should not meet the same fate as Darjeeling, where politics and administrative apathy have left a beautiful town filthy. This needs to be remedied at once if Darjeeling is to retain its Queen of the Hills tag. Moreover, other spots like Kalimpong and Gajoldoba should be developed as well. Government accommodations are seldom well-maintained. An elite category of accommodation should be constructed and maintained at all popular tourist spots. A gamut of other measures too need to be taken before tourism can be given a boost in West Bengal.

B.K. Nundee

Calcutta

Sir — Most tourist locations such as important monuments have a number of well-stocked souvenir shops close by with detailed brochures and other curios. But, in Calcutta, a tourist visiting Victoria Memorial, Writers’ Building, Howrah Bridge and so on has to walk miles to find a souvenir shop. Even then, a souvenir shop might be difficult to locate.

Places such as the Buckingham Palace, London, collect huge amounts of money by selling souvenirs. The West Bengal government should think of tapping this avenue for augmenting its revenue. It can open kiosks of Biswa Bangla stores outside popular tourist spots in the city. There is no dearth of skilled artisans in Bengal to produce souvenirs such as key rings, wall hangings, fridge magnets and so on. Such an initiative will not only showcase the heritage of the city but will also add to the government coffers, not to mention generate more employment. The state government should give this matter some serious thought.

Kunal Kanti Konar

Calcutta

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