January 2010

Mushrooming SEZ Scams — Tagged ‘Solutions’ is more now a Pollutant
The too-much of SEZ culture that has been setup by the UPA realm in India seems to be creating more tussles everywhere than benefit. Today whilst flipping channels, I saw CNN-IBN showing up a high end drama of SEZ scam where lands were allocated in a reckless fashion to builders in order to equip them amassing fast bucks. I am trying to see if I can locate the web version of it and in the melee, I found another article in ‘The New Indian Express over here. There is now a dire need for the state administration in bringing control over these SEZs.
The SEZs also bring with them another peril. Just because they construct one SEZ the road near them is converted into a toll-road which is not acceptable at all. And the toll road is qualified for lighting and amenities only for a few feet at its vicinity and after that distance the road condition is simply deplorable and unmotorable. We could see several instances of these in the following turnpikes (aka) tollgates:
  1. TollGate near Mohammed Sathak College (Sozhinganallur)
  2. TollGate near Chennai One SEZ (Pallavaram – Thorapakkam Radial Road)
Also a number of foulmouthed people are floating fly-by-night enterprises as software companies and financial companies and most of them cling to the bunch of flock in tagging the word as ‘XYZ Solutions’ and hence I thought to share this topic that too much of corrupt solutions is actually serving as a pollution to the ecosystem. The unethical financial solutions enterprises also end-up in violating more laws of land including 420 cases and telemarketing practices. I had to kick one such unethical ‘solution maker’ because the way he used his female staff gave an impression that a trend of ‘flesh trade solutions’ is also being experimented by these dons. This issue had been referred to Home Ministry sometime in December.
The myth behind 18001030121
One could have seen big boards, hoardings and/or banners from Airtel Broadband to call a toll-free number like 18001030121 in order to avail a free broadband service for month with zero entry cost. Is that all true? When this writer called the number two times the following were the results: 
  1. The call landed in Bangalore call center. Incorrect routing entrapped in the first instance. The call center executive wanted the caller to retry the call after two hours but to no avail.
  2. Writing an email to the Airtel Broadband Support Center was of no avail too since the standard gibberish scribbling craps were all just being coming out from them.
  3. One of the executive who I met near Airtel Relationship Center in Saidapet was telling that though there is no entry cost an amount for the a few months needed for second month onwards needed to be paid. So it is not completely free. Read the fine prints before signing up with the contract.

A proposal to HSBC to open a Hot and Sour Bottling Corporation

1)Name of the Agent: The agent told calling from HSBC Credit Cards (Mumbai) and he failed to introduce himself. He was arrogant and refused to tell his name too.
2)Time of the call 17:46
3)The number from which the call was made.
4) The number on which he had made the call. xxxxxxxxxx
5)The date on which the call was made. 13th January 2010

On the Pongal eve day me and a few of my friends were in a small tea shop in Ambal Nagar (Ekkaduthangal) where Vazhakkai (plantain) bajji is famous. There was one telemarketer who was calling at that time from the number +912230759100 around 6 PM. We just thought instead of chasing him away let us derive some concrete fun from him.

TM: Hello. We are calling from HSBC Credit Cards Division.
Me: Ok
TM: We are offering an attractive personal insurance product along with credit card.
Me: I have a more compelling and attractive requirement other than credit card now. Would you be able to serve that? The plantain bajji needs more chutney and we need some water also. Can you bring it first?
TM: We are calling from HSBC Credit Cards.
Me: So what? When HSBC can open so many initiatives like HSBC Direct and Canara HSBC, why can’t they open up water supply and beverages company. Also, slowly they should apply to TASMAC and you should endeavor to provide more value-added services to the customers. When you can violate NDNC, you should also have the guts to  venture into non-specialised areas.
TM: <bangs the phone and ran away>

I then wrote an email to HSBC for providing a good Pongal eve weekend entertainment and we also suggested that HSBC could seriously consider quitting banking business as soon as possible and open up Hot and Sour Bottling Corporation. While humor is one part of the story along with that as part of my good citizenship gesture, the incident of telemarketing violation has also been reported to appropriate authorities.

Indiscriminatory typos in place names with demonstrated callous attitude by businesses in Chennai
A while back we had a discussion on fading nameboards. This topic shares the same thought but assumes a little more broader scope in that a few businesses use their prowess and potential to even confuse the general public by changing the names of their places in their own whims and fancies. Bringing them to their kind attention is of no avail since they either underestimate the whole complaint/report or they have done it deliberately and intentionally to advance their sinister objectives.
I have a few sample incidents below:
  1. A quick sample of the various shop nameboards in Pallikaranai can reveal that the place name is spelt differently as Pallikarani and Pallikaranee. They have not spared even the most simple efforts of moving their little fingers to check against the government gazette on the correct name of the places.
  2. The reputed mobile chain store (WaveTel) was aggressively spreading the spelling of Thambaram for ‘Tambaram’ in every advertisement till recently and only now after a lot of hue and cry they have corrected it. Now they have again succumbed to another spell-kill. ‘Rajakilpakkam’ is being spelt as ‘Rajakillpakkam’.

Though you may call ‘What is in a name?’ there are a lot of things attached to a wrong name including confusions for tourists and new ones to a place. The best bet solution is to either consult the government gazette or if there is a railway station in that area, it is best to see what Indian Railways call that. It is an unanimous acceptance across the country to see if Indian Railways has a particular spelling that holds sway over everything else. Interestingly, if we take that for instance, the place where ‘Chennai Airport‘ is located is predominantly spelt as ‘Meenambakkam‘ whereas Indian Railways call it as ‘Minambakkam’

The saviours of Chennai City
The next time you witness something wrong with the civic administration setup of Chennai city you need not lament or just be a mute spectator. There are now two movements one sponsored by the state administration itself and another from an NGO to support and forward your concerns and voices to the appropriate authorities.
The respective URLs of the same are:
  1. Online Public Grievance portal by Chennai Corporation.
  2. Fix Your City Chennai
But please note that the redressal process itself is not going to speedier. We can see signs of hope because a new redressal channel using latest technological innovation has come in now however the resolution process still has to depend on the age-old red tape bureocratic process and hence it might take a lot of time. Worse yet, we still have incidents where a few complaints have got closed without proper reasons by erring officials as narrated here.
Nevertheless let us encourage and extend our patronage to these new systems with a humble ray of hope that these maladies too would be redressed in future and in the course of time that the public grievance redressal system would be a huge success. We should also try to suggest these in other places’ city/state administrators too.
Let us bring a blanket ban on Nuclear Families altogether
I sincerely thank everyone for sending in their honest feedback supporting our proposal that we would need to refrain from any kind of nuclear arrangements. I am really surprised to see the overwhelming response that the particular section on nuclear families in the post elicited more attention of readers than just the globally proliferated problem of nuclear test ban treaty infringements. 
Towards this, I just I would do a little more research into the harms of nuclear family as a social service to the community and we should strive to see if we can move the state administration and lawmakers to amend the legislations and declare nuclear family as a bane than any boon. Worse yet and sorry to say, we should ask them to declare it on par as ‘ex-marital living together setup’ which is not acceptable in our Indian culture. Perhaps they can make case-by-case exceptions on specially verified on multiple tiers.
In science parlance, we have a term called ‘Nuclear Fission‘ and it seems to be perfectly matching our family setup too. A quick internet research shows that be it a boon period or a bane period, nuclear families had been the heightened source of family disparities and disharmony of all kind and creed than the families with parents and traditional setups. We are not in a westernized setup wherein we keep trashing our sacred nuptial bindings and bondings at our own whims and fancies.
Today in India, we celebrate Bhogi where we destroy the dirt and junk including those who abet that. To abet an illicit thing should be treated more severe than the crime itself. Let us vow and take an oath to destroy any affection that we nurture towards such bad things and start respecting our rich heritage and culture from the first day of Thai tomorrow. Jai Hind!
“Sign, Sign and Resign yourself to the fate” is what our private bankers are forcing us towards…
I think RBI and Finance Ministry of India should do a due-diligence homework into the quality of private banking peers in India. Recently I had one encounter with a credit (loan) representative of Axis Bank. This guy was bringing some loan documentation kit and he wanted all the kits to be signed and given back to him in just two minutes and he didn’t want the customer to read anything on the kit.
The height of the hilarity was that he was telling what is the problem in signing and giving the documentation? I had to shoo-shoo him away because I simply can not tolerate such skunks who lack responsibility and look like drivels only oriented towards commissions and (illegal) gratifications without caring about ethics of any sort. I just thought of sharing this incident with the hope that it should be an eye-opener for everyone not to commit any thing to the bankers without reading whatever has been written onto it.
This issue had been brought to the due attention of Axis Bank Loans Head and I would keep you posted on the updates recieved from them.

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