14 June, 2021

On Either Side Of The Hooghly

In Calcutta, public interest gets a boost from the courts thanks to a 54-year-old CA

Swapan Nayak
On Either Side Of The Hooghly
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Sometimes even the mountain bows to Mohammed. After what seems like ages, the Calcutta Corporation is cleaning up the sprawling Brigade Parade ground. But it still took a pil to force the authorities to act. If the grounds look well-tended henceforth, then the citizens of Calcutta owe thanks to Subhas Dutta, better known in certain circles here as the poor man’s Ralph Nader.

The 54-year-old chartered accountant has a special knack for pulling up the administration for its failures. Be it environment protection or preservation of historical sites, Dutta’s a formidable watchdog. No wonder that officials run for cover when they learn he’s on their case.

In recent years, Dutta has totted up a formidable ‘record’ espousing major causes. He has been party to over 50 pils demanding protection of the historic Botanical Gardens and Victoria Memorial. Flood prevention, protection of wild elephants, tree-felling, automobile emissions...the list is never-ending. Verdicts have mostly gone in his favour though Dutta maintains "a pil is not about victory or defeat, it’s...

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