Thursday, May 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Wasteful schemes

THE report 'Unwed girls get widow pension', (Tribune, April 28) shows how public money is being wasted on such schemes when the government is passing through an unprecedented financial crisis. The Akali Dal announced certain policies to help the poor and the needy, but proper guidelines were not made. Many of those who get old-age pension are landed properly holders or their sons are on good jobs. The same is the case with free travel for women above 65 and the government had to make some amendments.

Take the case of free power to farmers many of whom are in the top income bracket. The PSEB is already in the red due to corruption and transmission losses which is a euphenism for power theft. Free electricity should be given only to marginal farmers. Now the burden of all wayward planning and losses is shifted to the common man. The Government should review these policies and extend concessions only to deserving persons.

Maj NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

MiG crashes

Fatal crashes of MiG fighters have become routine over the past two or three years. In many cases the pilots have been killed. It is generally felt that there is some basic problem with the flying machine, either some deficiency in manufacturing or some serious problem with the material used. In any case, brave men are dying for no fault of theirs. Have the authorities thought of going into the details of these crashes and save these gallant men. These aircraft should be grounded and good dependable machines introduced in their place to avoid unnecessary crashes and untimely demise of pilots. It will be in the interest of the nation and of the families concerned.



Adieu, brave soldiers

I would like to compliment Sonali Misra for adequately summing up the mood of an Indian citizen at the seemingly mute response of the Indian establishment to the mutilation of Indian soldiers by some insane Bangladeshis. How can the soldiers and their families have confidence in a government which feels embarrassed even to ask for an apology for such an act. The commitment by a force, which takes pride in making the supreme sacrifice at the call of duty, has to be given unambiguous and strong backing by the government and the nation. When this backing is diluted because of diplomatic compulsions, the commitment of the men in the forces starts fading. The men in uniform cannot be taken for granted for long.



Draught animals

The summer months are unbearable for humans and animals alike. People beat the heat with amenities at their disposal, irrespective of power failures. But what about the draught animals toiling on roads in scorching sun?

Most distressing is the sight of unfeeling cartsmen and tongawalas loading weights beyond the permissible limits in the scorching summer heat.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animal Rules, 1965, lay down that in any area where the ambient temperature exceeds 37 degrees celsius between 12 noon and 3 p.m., no person shall use or cause to be used any animal drawing any vehicle or carrying any load. Callous cartsmen, tongawalas, indifferent public and an ineffective Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) make a mockery of these rules.

Police helplines like those in Jalandhar and Ludhiana need to be formed in every district to help animals in distress. These helpline teams should, in addition to attending to calls regarding atrocities on animals, be strict in apprehending offenders of the rules framed for preventing cruelty to draught animals. A casual check by the police can prevent violation of these rules. The victimised draught animals should not be allowed to be kept in harness and should be given rest under a shade during the hot hours.


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