Monday, October 24, 2011


A few years back I used to fly between Delhi-Mumbai very often. I am amongst those few who are very scared in the flight. During one such flight, I built enough guts and requested the Captain and he allowed me into the cockpit. To my surprise, the Captain was having his breakfast and the co pilot was reading newspaper. I was explained various controls and was told that the plane was on auto pilot mode, hence there wasn't any need for them to hold the control physically. Since that flight,every time I get turbulence in any flight, what comes  back to my mind is the scene where Captain and Co pilot having breakfast, resulting into  bigger the scare. However, I cannot forget the words of the Captain while I was leaving the cockpit after thanking him.He said “YOU MUST TRUST THE CAPTAIN”. Most of us do.

In 2009, a new aviation company (more of pvt ltd) was formed under name and style of UPA II. Almost entire country invested huge stakes in it. Board of Directors “appointed” an honest man as its Captain and principle officer as the regulatory authority didn’t allow the promoter Director to take over as Captain.Stake holders were promised good returns within first 100 days.In the meantime,Captain managed to get one of his acquaintances from World bank/IMF to handle the financial issues.With a lot of fanfare,maiden flight took off and it wasn’t before it got caught into turbulence.Turbulence when captain couldn’t connect with his promoter Director due to faulty 2G communication lines,turbulence when pathetic condition of CWG stadia was visible from 10000ft, turbulence when dust of illegal mining was so visible from the cockpit, turbulence when Captain saw a 31 stories building on defense land meant for war widows, turbulence when he realized his own colleagues wouldn’t allow him a smooth flight, turbulence when he realized his on board staff consumed most of the food supplies meant for passengers, turbulence when he was told by his IMF acquaintance that henceforth concessional tickets will be sold only to those poor earning less than Rs 26/day, turbulence as his colleagues were caught playing game of chewing gums.Unable to come out of turbulence,Captain decided to make an emergency landing. 
That was the time one of his colleagues was competing Aryabhatta in reinventing ZERO.
Before emergency touchdown,Captain made an announcement!YOU MUST TRUST YOUR CAPTAIN.

Company ordered an inquiry into causes of turbulence and the losses incurred.First submission Captain made was that “He wasn’t aware.” Most of the passengers have not agreed with his statement and have decided never to fly this airline again.They were never comfortable in the flight as there wasn't any coordination,thus risking lives of passengers who were all rich and earning more than Rs 32/day.However,they agree that “YOU MUST TRUST YOUR CAPTAIN” which they did (regretfully).
Having made an emergency landing,the estimated loss is reported to be appx Rs 1.75 Lakh Crores.


posted 24/10/11,b k chowla

Friday, October 14, 2011


Recently, Govt of Delhi has raised the registration fee for Diesel vehicles to 25 percent.
Intentions of the Govt may be good, but as usual, it doesn't seem to have done its home work. By raising the registration fee, will the consumption of Diesel reduce? Perhaps not, because those who purchase high priced diesel SUVs at prices ranging from Rs 25 lakh onwards to close to Rs 45 lakhs don't care about the price of diesel. May be, it will add to Govt's kitty to some extent.

In this process, Govt seems to have overlooked the diesel taxis who survive on day to day basis. Can the taxi owner who lives on daily collection and or is committed to EMIs afford another cost? As a consequence of price increase, the auto and bus fares are bound to increase by which only the poor man will get hit.

If raising revenue was the real intention, should Govt not have checked other areas of high diesel consumption?
Reportedly, following are the highest consuming areas

1...BTS-commonly known as Mobile Towers.
Mobile Towers need a 100 % power back up to ensure, should mobile services get cut off considering the awful power supply position in the country. Hypothetically, diesel for mobiles towers could be sold even at Rs 100 per liter. For all one cares, it may increase the call rate by a few paisas only. With the kind of mobile phone density in India, 2G alleged scam one would presume that Govt is unable to displease the telecoms lobby, especially when five State elections are not too far. I would not know the absolute numbers, but, for sure the extra revenue from mobile towers will be far greater than that of diesel vehicles additional registration fees. It is up to the Govt to first know what exactly does it want, which in this case seems hazy.

2.....Shopping Malls

We may not have bothered to actually use it as a case study, but, I won't be surprised if Shopping Malls are only second to mobile towers as far as diesel consumption is concerned. Can one imagine a shopping mall without electricity for even five minutes? A 100 % power back is a must in the malls. One would expect the Govt to have raised cost price of diesel to the Malls. Be it for the purpose of raising the revenue or be it a deterrent. Let’s not forget, the maintenance charges in malls vary from Rs 15 per sq ft onwards. Will another a few paisas really matter to them? However, general feeling is that under pressure from lobbyists, Govt won’t displease the shop owners in the malls. It May not be a coincidence,but,quite a few of the shop owners are politicians who are by themselves are decision  makers and are beneficiaries .

In the meantime, few like me are still counting Zeros in 1.76 lakh crores.
Some are counting yesterday’s earning to ensure they are not above Rs 32/.


posted 14/10/11,b k chowla

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Planning Commission has recently submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating that those Indians living in Cities earning Rs 32 per day and those in rural areas earning more that Rs 26 per day do not fall in the category of the poor.
Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia is the Dy Chairman of the Planning commission while the Prime Minister of India is the Ex-Offico Chairman. Hence, when an affidavit was submitted to the Supreme Court, I would presume that it was in knowledge of the PM, and the Law minister.
This govt was voted to power on the slogan “Congress ka Haath Aam Admi Ke Sath”. Affidavit speaks volumes about the condition of Aam Aadmi.
Affidavit is a tight slap on the face of the common man.
Why is this govt so disconnected with the ground reality?
How can we expect them to know our plight when their official assets/wealth has increased by over 800% in last 3 yrs?
A beggar on a traffic signal earns much more than Rs 32/day.
Montek Singh feels that to be above poverty line, one has to spend Rs 1per day on medical care. He perhaps he isn’t aware that a tablet of Crocin is beyond the reach in that amount.
Disconnect is because when these VIPs fall sick, they have VIP wards assigned for them in AIIMS. Why should they care?Best treatment overseas is also at their command,absolutely free of cost.
Perhaps, Montek Singh needs to check the amount he has spent on overseas trips in last 2 yrs? Reportedly, the amount spent on his travel is close to Rs 2 Crores.
May be, Montek Singh can make us wise by identifying at least one product in the country which is available at Rs 32 per unit, be it cooking oil, wheat, Bajra, medicine any vegetable?
Montek Singh enjoys the status of a Minister. How can he understand our pain when he gets free housing, free medical, free electricity, foreign travel, subsidised food in parliament canteen?
Will Montek tell this country as to in which school or college can the poor get their children educated with an expense of Rs 1 per day? Even 40 yrs back, this amount for education was not sufficient.
They must understand and see for themselves as to the sub human conditions poor live in.
It is our misfortune that after 63 yrs, we are still struggling to avoid realty of the poor in India.
What we as common people don’t understand the hidden agenda by redefining poverty. Those who cross an income level of Rs 32 /day will automatically not get included in the list of those enjoying State or Central subsidy schemes. Be it ration, Medical treatment etc.
But, MPs are quite OK with enjoying subsidised food at tax payer’s account in the parliament canteen.
Where are we heading towards? Why is the Govt so insensitive towards aam aadmi? Let’s not forget, poorer you are, more vulnerable you are, more vulnerable you are, faster you fall in line, faster you fall in line, sharper you are the first target. 
Take your pick.
Let us work towards building a better India.

Read the affidavit here.


PS. Planning Commission Chairman seems to have given some clarification on the affidavit.