Ban Service Charge Levied By Restaurants
This refers to the highly irresponsible guidelines dated April 21, 2017, issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (Government of India) wherein consumers visiting hotels and restaurants to enjoy food are advised to approach Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum against the malpractice of certain restaurants charging compulsory service charge in their invoices instead of the Department imposing a ban on such levying of service charges or even providing column for tip. Guidelines doubt of some under-the-table deal with associations of hotels and restaurants, because everyone knows that consumers go to hotels and restaurants for enjoyment and relaxation rather than fighting for their rights through cumbersome court procedures. If eateries are really sincere about staff welfare, they can increase their wages. Also, since there is no limit on served food prices, they can increase the prices rather than adopting the backdoor route to fool consumers through the unfair service charge. Law must be tightened so as to incorporate prison provision for eatery owners levying service charge in bills. Rather paying and accepting tips otherwise should be made an offence since gifts and tips are polished forms of bribes.
MADHU AGRAWAL, NEW DELHI
Stop Dumping Waste In Water Bodies
A report on a study conducted by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has observed that the coastline of Goa has the highest quantity of beach debris and plastic litter as compared to other parts of the country. Goa is blessed with a vast coastline with some of the best beaches in the country. However, unfortunately the waste on the beaches has brought a bad name to our once world-famous beaches. For this fate of our beaches, each one of us could be responsible in one way or the other. People could be under the wrong impression that the litter found on the beaches is only that which is left behind by the visitors. When people throw garbage in any water body including rivers, lakes, storm drains, etc the garbage ultimately finds its way into the sea. During high tide or a storm, which results in huge waves, the garbage from the sea is thrown back onto the beach front which causes a major part of the litter on the beaches. It seems that nature does not want to keep the garbage thrown by humans. Hence, we could be littering the beach fronts without actually going to the beaches. We need to totally stop dumping waste in all kinds of water bodies to prevent debris on the Goan beaches.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO