Molestation of women Army officers

News-items published in The Tribune one after the other highlighting molestation and rape of women Army officers at the hands of their own seniors are a pointer to the nadir of shamelessness, indecency and indiscipline that have crept into the armed forces.

Sexual harassment and exploitation of women have become quite frequent at work places. Some of them behave in a timid manner by not protesting or reporting any indecent remark which the perpetrator takes as tacit consent to continue making sexual overtures.

Lady Army officers deserve appreciation for taking a bold stand against their tormentors. But the common women working as Class III and IV employees and domestic servants, having no social or financial strength, find themselves weak and hesitant before their lustful and lecherous colleagues, bosses and masters. It may prove effective if they resist vulgar advances of men right at the first instance in an unambiguous manner without waiting for it to happen a second time.

C. L. ARORA, Ferozpore

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief



Female foeticide in HP

This has reference to the news-item “No check on sex determination tests” (The Tribune, May 17). It is really sad to know that in Himachal, the land of gods and goddesses, female foeticide is in vogue. The declining sex ratio, which stands at 850:1000 in some parts of the state, tells the painful story.

The doctors involved in these unethical activities should refrain from interfering with the process of nature’s most beautiful creation—the birth of a child. The state government should take action against the culprits and impose a ban on the use of portable ultra-sound scanning machines for such tests.


Technical teachers

There are many government-run technical education institutions in Punjab where students are facing a lot of hardships in the absence of the required faculty. It is not that the government does not have the required posts and the staff appointed against these posts. The truth is that many government-appointed teaching staff use their political and other influences and manage to work “on deputation” in other government departments. This has caused resentment among the students and their parents.

Some principal-level officers of the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) have also managed to have got postings on deputation in other departments. As an example, one principal-level person appointed by the DTE has been working in the Department of Information Technology and Administrative Reforms (DISAR), Punjab, for the past over three years, as he is considered very close both to the Director, DISAR, and the Director, DTE. Steps must be taken to ensure that teaching in the technical education institutions does not suffer.

Students of government polytechnics and ITIs in Punjab

Development projects

This has reference the report “Govt beats about the bush on land to RIL” (May 10). The railways acquired land for the construction of a railway track from Goindwal to TarnTarn last year and paid to farmers between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh as compensation per acre. A few years ago GVK had acquired land for the construction of a thermal power plant at Goindwal and had paid much less than what the Railways had paid. The farmers are, however, content with the compensation amount.

The Punjab State Electricity Board has also signed an MOU with GVT Ltd for the construction of a thermal plant at Goindwal. People of this area want these proposals to be implemented so that the area develops. Across-the-table negotiations should be preferred to court cases.


Plan for more lakes

The Chandigarh Administration is planning to have five more lakes in the city. These lakes will, no doubt, play a big role in augmenting groundwater resources and improving the ambience.

In this regard, however, I want to caution the administration in view my own experience while working in watershed management projects.

The administration should not commit the same mistake as it did in creating Sukhna Lake. The engineers who worked for the lake way back in 1958 did not consult the soil conservation people and forest officials regarding the condition of the catchment areas. The catchment of the Sukhna was virtually devoid of a vegetation cover due to excessive grazing and biotic pressure. Consequently, a lot of silt started flowing into the lake and by 1968 two-thirds of the lake was filled with silt.

Desilting of the lake is now going to be a colossal task involving a heavy expenditure. This was a very good example of the lack of coordination between various departments.

The administration should not repeat the same mistakes while constructing the new lakes. It should involve all the concerned departments before taking up these ventures. The soil conservation and forest departments should be closely associated and appropriate measures taken in the catchment areas in advance to reduce the silt flow to the proposed lakes.

Prof S. P. MITTAL, Panchkula

Importance of Siachen

General Oberoi’s article on the Siachen in The Tribune on May 16 was timely. It is a plain fact that our political leaders not having served in the defence forces are woefully short of knowledge about military affairs. They show reluctance even to listen to the viewpoints having military intricacies. This leads to political decisions which are dangerous for the security of the nation.

The decision taken by the Nehru government during the Kashmir war, ignoring the advice of military experts, created problems which have been defying solution till date. The conflict in Kashmir has been a great hindrance to the development of the Valley. The Hindu population of Jammu and Kashmir has become refugees in its own country. It happened because military opinion was not taken into consideration where forces were marching on to Muzaffarabad.

Not understanding the importance of the Siachen, much of which is under the occupation of the Indian Army, and the hush-hush talk about the withdrawal of our forces is going to lead us to another tragedy.

Air Marshal P.K. JAIN, Chandigarh


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