We thank our readers for some very interesting letters in response to our stories and columns. Do continue to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This refers to your editorial “Hopes built with sand” (Mint, 19 March). I do not agree with your argument as the United Nations Security Council is not free from US influence. In its resolution to take on Libya militarily, one should not forget that Libya has rich oil reserves, and the US has vested interests in this respect and this also includes European countries.
Even in Egypt, even after the exit of Hosni Mubarak, the military council has the same corrupt faces who were part of Hosni Mubarak’s team. Initially, the US kept quiet, but later, after seeing the popular movement pick momentum, it criticised the Mubarak regime in guarded tones. Hosni Mubarak was aligned with US’ interests. What shape democracy will take in Egypt, only time can tell.
India’s aspirations for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council does not mean she should always sail with the wind. India has not shown weakness, but has, instead, shown that the country can adopt independent thinking, free of Western influence. Even in WikiLeaks exposure, the opposition parties have forgotten that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to remain firm and appointed Pranab Mukherjee as the finance minister when the US was expecting that either P. Chidambaram or Montek Singh Ahluwalia would be appointed to that position.
-Deendayal M. Lulla
This is in reponse to your editorial “Pop goes the bubble” (Mint, 23 March). Since 2004, property prices in the city of Mumbai have moved only one way-up. Today, a decent property anywhere in Mumbai, even in the suburbs, does not come for less than Rs 1 crore. How many people can afford such properties? Prices have moved up despite high interest rates and a 50% drop in sales. Why?
The answer is that Mumbai’s supply of land is limited, and the state government lacks vision. There has been no developent envisioned for this city.
Land supply has to increase and there needs to be vertical growth. In fact, the new dispensation is doing all it can to restrict building concessions (even those that have been granted earlier) and FSI. The impact is that many projects have become unviable, and supply will only reduce. In an already heated up market, they are further scuttling supply.
This is at a time when major cities in the world which have limited available land have gone vertical. Yet in Mumbai, the Dharavi development plan has been stuck in bureaucracy for years. Infrastructure needs to improve as a city goes for vertical growth. There is need for satellite towns with good connectivity. The bubble in real estate will only grow unless there is an efficient administration that looks at holistic urban development. Else property prices will never come down.
A good call for Africa
This refers to your article “Idea likely to sell stake” (Mint , 5 April). If the Idea-MTN deal indeed takes place, it would complete a full circle for Africa’s telecom industry.
With India’s biggest operator, Bharti Airtel, having bought 100% control of the Zain group, and thus becoming the third largest operator in most of the 16 African countries, the Idea-MTN deal would make MTN, the largest telecom firm in the Republic of South Africa, a major company in the Indian telecom sector.
The deal will have a far-reaching and positive impact on the collective psyche of people, firms and countries in Africa.