Monday, March 15, 2010

Recession, my foot!

According to the reply of an RTI filed in the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) here is the Maya of Mayawati:
  • Cost of Statues of Mayawati and Kanshi Ram: cost Rs 6.68 crore
  • Cost of 60 marble elephants at the Ambedkar memorial cost Rs 52 crore
This is just tip of the iceberg by the Uttar Pradesh budget. Uttar Pradesh culture department’s budget for 2009-10 shows that in 2008-09, the department had allocated more than Rs 194 crore for building statues of “great leaders” — the entire amount was spent.
Maintenance cost 270 crore annualy
Not only constructing memorials and statues worth thousands of crores, their maintenance too is going to cost the taxpayer dear. According to construction experts, the maintenance cost of such memorials is almost 10% of the actual cost. That way, the memorials, which are touching a figure of almost Rs 2,700 crore, may require at least Rs 270 crore annually for their maintenance.
Some people argue that if we compare this with the funds for maintenance of seven general hospitals, nine Community Health Centres (CHCs) and 26 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state capital – their combined maintenance cost is at around Rs 15 lakh annually. Likewise, the 13 government secondary schools receive an annual grant for maintenance on demand, the figures of which may range between Rs 20,000 and Rs 1 lakh per annum.
Suck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Telemarketer SMS menace

At the end of this post is the list of unwanted SMSes that I have received just in two weeks. 

To get rid of these, Airtel expects us to go to the link http://airtel.in/wps/wcm/connect/airtel.in/airtel.in/home/do+not+disturb+registry/ and file complaints . This link itself is a harassing process. It is a 4 step process.

  • Page 1: Call received on Landline or Mobile. [One click]
  • Page 2: Mobile & NDNC registration number and do submit. [Type your own number and enter your NDNC registration number and then submit. Two forms and second click]
  • Page 3: Select Whether it was call from landline or Mobile [Third click].
    • Enter marketer id or number. [Another form]
    • Enter context [One more typing]
    • Select a box to select date [3rd and 4th clicks]
    • Now, painstakingly enter time in 3 drop boxes.
  • Enter. [5th Click]

It took one bulk software for telemarketer to send me one SMS. Now, my pain starts

  1. Open SMS. Who knows it may be from your friend. If you are on Windows Mobile with outlook configured, that takes around 2 minutes since we need to unlock phone.
  2. Control your rage and keep that SMS in inbox.
  3. Collect all such over week and allocate 1 hour in a weekend to file all such complaints. In case of calls, you will have to remember the number or check it time and duration to get idea if it was marketing call.
  4. Spend around 10 minutes for every unwanted call / SMS to file complaint.
  5. In the course of next weeks, Airtel will send at least two SMSes informing first about registration of complaint and then on action taken.

If I received 10 unwanted SMSes / calls in a week, that amounts to around 20 minutes [Opening] + 100 minutes [Online filing] + 40 minutes [Read status]. That makes altogether 160 wasted minutes for me in a week.

I have created online account with Airtel. Why not this feature can be integrated into that page? Why not they have a pre-defined number where we could forward SMSes. Why not they have a email id where I can send a consolidated list like the one below? Because of all this cumbersome processes, people do not file complaints which means these guys who never check NDNC registry cannot be penalized.  What the creator of smarter planet IBM is doing? Their system is not recognizing this pain-in-the-ass stuff? Or their advertisement is just a bullshit.

This shows few things

  1. Airtel is not at all interested in stopping this practice.
  2. TRAI is doing its worst to discourage us from reporting. Otherwise, they would have given a link on their website top report such issues.
  3. Someone in my bank, ICICI, is repeatedly leaking all information about my account to outsiders.

List of SMSes I received only in two weeks (Year 2010) when I started following this process. Just notice the very big names around there. They should at least be reading NDNC list, but they also have no regard for the law of land.


Mobile Number           **49**0639
DND registration number S100***7976


4042629032        6 Mar 12:13   Bajaj Allianz             Call
AD-FRSTCZEN   5 mar 16.17   Shopper's stop sale.
9581640569        5 mar 10:53   Vedic Math 
9701395688      4 mar 09:09   Share trading
BA-NGSIndia    3 mar 15:07   NGS School franchise offer.
TM-VALUESTK  3 Mar 14:04   Stock tips
BA-RSNifty          27 Feb 17:20  Share trading subscription
AD-RSNifty          12 Mar 16:30  Share trading subscription
BA-Loans              12 Mar 15:32  Loan
9642636834       12 Mar 13:30  HDFC bank loan
8051902978      11 Mar 18:44  Bulk SMS service
9581567013      11 Mar 14:45  Vedic Maths Workshop
8008824537     11 Mar 13:40  Loans
9176703949      07 Mar 15:41  Electronic cartridge
04044366800  15 Mar 14:26  Reliance MF related call