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Readers' Mail

APTDC makes a killing?

Sir, — I recently hosted a party on the Bhageerathi boat run by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department on the Hussainsagar and was ripped by the APTDC. I got a food bill for 110 persons when I ordered only for 100 without even being informed about it and despite the fact that food for 20 to 30 persons was available at the end of the party. I ended up paying Rs. 1,500 extra.

Though the Legal Metrology Department has issued notices that packed items should not be sold for more than the maximum retail price, the APTDC does not seem to follow the rule.

A 1.5-litre soft drink bottle which costs Rs. 35 was charged Rs. 60, a 500-ml bottle was charged Rs. 20 instead of Rs. 15, mineral water Rs. 15 instead of Rs. 12 and a soda bottle double the MRP of Rs. 10. Breakage for four glasses was charged at Rs. 60 each tough the glass does not cost more than Rs. 20.

The catering in-charge expressed helpless in this regard and promised to clarify the bill with his superiors, but I am yet to hear from him. I also reminded his assistant about this matter on the phone for two days in a row after the party, which was hosted on January 11, 2004. However, I cleared the bills.

Will the Government clarify whether the APTDC has been allowed to sell packed items at more than the MRP? Will the APTDC return the total extra amount collected (Rs. 2,226) and stop exploiting the public? It has to be seen whether the authorities concerned will book a case against the APTDC.

Shahbaz Husain,

Vijayanagar Colony

* * *

Change train timings

Sir, — I would like to suggest change in the departure time of Train No. 7053 from Chennai Central. The train takes 15 hours to travel from Chennai to Hyderabad but only 14 hours in the reverse direction. The reason for this is that near Bitragunta it gives passage to Grand Trunk and Padmavathi Expresses, which takes up 45 minutes. Instead, the departure at Chennai can be rescheduled to 4.45 or 5 p.m., as there are no trains leaving Chennai at this time. The train will still reach Hyderabad at the same time.

S. Krithivasan,

Kundanbagh

* * *

Pedestrians at peril

Sir, — It is very difficult and hazardous for pedestrians to cross the road at Abids Circle as there are few footpaths, zebra crossings or traffic islands. There is a continuous rush of traffic from Mozamjahi market, GPO or Bank Street (though entry is banned) towards Nampally Station.

The few footpaths in this area have been made narrow for widening the roads and many are occupied by the destitute.I request the MCH authorities to assess the traffic situation here and take action immediately.

K.Visvanadham,

Uppal

* * *

Parking woes at airport

Sir, — The long corridor at the arrival terminal of Begumpet airport has been provided with a purpose -- to enable at least 10 cars to park at a time, allowing passengers to clear out fast. However, the airport authority has divided the portico and allows VIP vehicles to be parked along the entire stretch of the platform. Passengers are now forced to walk a long way to the car park as no car is allowed into the second half of the corridor. The situation is especially painful when passengers have a lot of luggage or when it rains.

I brought up this issue twice with the airport manager and once with officers of the Airport Authority of India who had come down from Delhi specifically to study how to increase travellers' comfort. But it was all in vain. Also the AAI is collecting an unusually high parking fee for cars that come to drop or collect passengers. It is Rs. 30 for ordinary and Rs. 80 for VIP parking. This is unfair and parking should be provided free by the AAI or the airlines as passengers already pay an enormous price for the tickets.

P.S. Chandrasekhar,

Secunderabad

* * *

Road crossing aids

Sir, — There are several road stretches in the twin cities, such as the one from airport to Panjagutta, where traffic moves ceaselessly. It is difficult for pedestrians, more so the elderly and children, to cross the road along these stretches. Construction of subways, foot overbridges and pedestrian crossing points with flashing orange lights across these busy stretches will greatly aid pedestrians in crossing the road.

C. Ananth Krishna,

Hyderabad

* * *

Kudos to students

Sir, — When I came to India to attend the IInd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi and visited my old Alma Mater, Mahbub College High School, I met Charles Studd, the science teacher, and two of his students -- P. Udakumar and P. Upender -- who demonstrated some innovative devices made of simple material to check train accidents.

Later I gathered from The Hindu (dated January 8) that Balaji Rail Road Systems Ltd. is going to use these devices on a commercial basis. The students, the teacher and the school deserve monetary benefit for these inventions. I compliment the school, the teacher and students for their accomplishment.

Eswar Phadia,

Hyderabad

* * *

Poll data on mobiles

Sir, — Mobile phones can be used during the coming elections to give detailed information about the case history and credentials of the contestants.

Election authorities can supply mobile phone sets to all urban voters on an ad hoc basis, make a deal with mobile operators to feed in information of this nature and thus ensure a more informed choice by the public.

Bh. Indu Sekhar,

Tarnaka

* * *

Post box provided

Sir, — This is with reference to K.V. Ramanamurty's letter published under the heading `Ramarajanagar needs a post box' (The Hindu dated 22-12-2003).

The delivery agent concerned has been instructed to ensure proper delivery of letters to residents of Ramarajnagar township. A letterbox has also been provided at the outer gate of the township.

Assistant Post Master-General (SB),

Andhra Pradesh Circle, Hyderabad

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