How Haryana can help its pensioners

The Haryana Government is following the Central Government pattern for pensionary benefits but the relief at 568 consumer price index has not been converted into dearness pay for calculating gratuity which is part of pension. Thus, Haryana pensioners who retired between March 31, 1985 and December 31, 1985, are facing a loss.

Punjab sanctioned Old Age allowance of 5 and 10 per cent at the age of 65 and 75 years respectively, but Haryana has not done this. Punjab pays Rs 250 towards monthly medical allowance as against Haryana’s Rs 125. Punjab also pays one month pension towards travel expenses every alternate year. Haryana is yet to extend this facility.

The expenditure on this is to be shared between the Punjab and Haryana governments @ 60 and 40 per cent for those who joined service before Nov 1, 1966 and retired from Haryana thereafter. Haryana has not done this but has paid 40 per cent pension of those who remained in Punjab and retired after Nov 1, 1966. Extending these benefits to pensioners, Haryana should claim 60 per cent from Punjab under the Reorganisation Act of Punjab and Haryana (Nov 1, 1966).

B.R. MALHOTRA, Vice President, Haryana State Civil Pensioners’ Welfare Assn, Faridabad



Towards a trained workforce

Shamsher S. Mehta has rightly highlighted the need to train Indians according to the needs of the industry, in his article “Making India world’s skill capital” (Oct 30). Unfortunately, our leaders have always projected the population of this country as a liability on the nation. Actually, the same population, if properly trained, can be an asset as well.

The countries with negative population growths are readily accepting Indians with the right kind of skills. If we are able to provide internationally benchmarked technical education to our youth, they can be directly and easily absorbed in the worldwide competitive workforce. Such trained manpower will enhance the image of Indian industry as well. This can lead to increased export potential for this country.

 India, despite world’s lowest labour rates, is not yet at the top when it comes to exports, one of the reasons being our inability to assure the best quality to our buyers. An adequately trained workforce will be a definite step in this direction.

Dr SANDEEP KUMAR, Manodisha Hospital, Barnala (Punjab)

Poor performance

Reference your editorial “Queered pitch” (Nov 1). I have loved and followed cricket for over 46 years and I do not recall any other Indian cricket team doing so poorly, especially at home. Undoubtedly, Australia is too tough a team to beat. The way Indians lost the first and third tests is inexcusable.

India has been known for its batting strength and in both the tests, its batting collapsed like a house of cards. Obviously, the Indian team lacked the will to struggle and survive in tough conditions.


Industrial pollution

Apropos of Aditi Tandon’s article “Bhopal tragedy unfolded — in frames” (Nov 1), I appreciate her efforts to highlight the great human misery and environmental degradation caused by the Union Carbide in contravention of the UN concept of sustainable development. But the sordid drama is being enacted by the industries in other parts of the country too in the garb of development.

Two examples will suffice. First, Grasim (Gwalior Rayons), situated on the banks of the Chaliar river, Calicut district, Kerala, which discharged effluents containing methyl mercury much above the permissible limits caused immense harm to the aquatic life for decades. It is now closed. And secondly, Jagjit Distilleries in Hamira, Kapurthala district, Punjab, said to be Asia’s biggest distillery, discharges lakhs of litres of highly toxic effluents every day. Its biological oxygen demand (BOD), a term to measure toxicity, is well above permissible limits, causing much sub-soil water pollution.

All concerned individuals and NGOs should join hands with Green Peace to help avoid Bhopal-type tragedies elsewhere.

Fr. THOMAS K.J. Rajpura (Patiala)

Irregular service

The Kurukshetra-Kaithal bus service connects two districts headquarters in a distance of 52 km. Kurukshetra is an education and pilgrimage centre. However, the bus service in this route is irregular. Haryana Roadways timetable displayed at Kurukshetra old bus stand is dated, causing inconvenience to passengers.

The frequency of buses on this route has been reduced, especially between 5 pm and 8 pm. The drivers ply buses at their whim. The authorities should improve the bus services on this route in the evenings. The latest timetable along with a clock should be displayed in the bus stand.

V.P. SARDANA, Kaithal

In memoriam

I was shocked to learn that Justice Kamlesh Sharma, a former Judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, is no more. I came in contact with her in 1980 when she was an advocate at the High Court. I had to file a writ against the HP University over an election to the University’s Academic Council. She was my counsel.

She was a remarkably conscientious advocate. Delightfully unassuming and intellectually very sharp, she won the case for me with costs just within four months, charging a modest fee.

She was compassion personified. She was running an Ashram for the hapless and the destitute in Shimla district. The fragrance she scattered over Shimla Hills is bound to inspire the people for generations to come.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


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