Thursday, July 25, 2002,
Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Power crisis & PSEB: corruption to blame

Although the editorial “Protests for power” (July 17) has not mentioned it, the evil of corruption is to a large extent responsible for the present financial woes of the power board and for this a large part of the blame has to be shared by the employees as this is a result of their insatiable desire for power and pelf. The political masters have also to share a part of the blame as they often aid and abet misdeeds and at times come to the rescue of erring employees. The management does the rest of the job by turning a near blind eye to cases of moral turpitude and aberrations.

It is a matter of common knowledge that power theft is easier if you have access to the corridors of power and that if you have capacity to grease the palms of conniving employees.

Power theft, cuts and commissions in routine financial transactions relating to contracts and purchases are as rampant in the board as in any other notorious department of the Punjab Government. No overhaul of the board even by putting best available talent within the board and outside on job even with a free hand will be of any avail unless corruption in every sphere of activity of the board is not curbed with a heavy hand.

The PSEB is considered to be a government within a government. As such, how is it that it has been kept fully insulated from the onslaught against corruption launched by the present Punjab government? The drive against populism and entrenched corruption in the board is the need of the hour rather than chanting mantras of privatisation or reforms — as corruption is a fatal illness for any organisation, be it in the private or public sector.



Privatisation no solution: The privatisation of the power sector is no solution for the follies being committed by the state government. The recent privatisation of the electricity boards in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh have made things more difficult for the public. The heavy injunction of World Bank money into the power sector of Orissa, Andhra and other states has not solved any problem but only added to the burden and escalation of tariffs.

Instead of giving 16 per cent tax free return to the private sector, the government should allow the electricity boards to earn 3 per cent return on its equity so that while achieving social objectives they may have enough money to invest in new projects.

V.K. GUPTA, Ropar

Eyesore on The Mall

The various steps undertaken to beautify The Mall of Shimla are welcome. But the main eyesore of The Mall is the parking of fire brigade vehicles which hinder the free movement of tourists enjoying the stroll. The vehicles can be parked near the church on The Ridge as it would give them additional mobility in case of a fire.

V.K. SHARMA, Shimla


Passengers harassed

I am a frequent traveller between Amritsar and New Delhi. Often I notice innocent train passengers are harassed by Government Railway Police personnel. Between Amritsar and Ambala Cantt, it is the Punjab Railway Police, while between Ambala and New Delhi it is the Haryana Railway Police. These personnel frisk the bags of passengers to look for anything bought new. And if found, they will first harass the passenger in front of others and then take him to a side of the compartment to “settle” the matter by demanding a partly sum of Rs 20 to Rs 50.

These personnel never support their name plates on their uniform to avoid being identified. I request the authorities to take remedial measures.


Teacher vs ‘safaiwala’

I as a student felt very disheartened when I saw two advertisements in your daily on July 13 for a “safaiwala” (Air Force Station, Kasauli) and a primary teacher (BSF School, Jalandhar) for which the grades were Rs 2550-3200 and Rs 1200-2040 respectively.

The educational qualification for the “safaiwala” was primary passed and for the teacher it was +2 with JBT. I really wonder what we students can expect from a teacher who is paid less than a “safaiwala”!

Is there someone who can tell me why are our teachers treated so shabbily?

SUMI SHARMA, The Lawrence School, Sanawar


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