Monday, February 5, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Grid failure

THE article “A close look at power grid collapse” by G.K. Pandey (The Tribune, Jan. 22) gives the impression that the event is sought to be used by the “power sector privatisation” lobby as yet another whip to lash the SEBs with. This article, and many others that have appeared in the media since the day of the grid collapse, have been poor in technical content.

All these articles and reports start pleading for power sector reforms in about the middle of the report. One gets the feeling that it is an attempt by the “power sector privatisation” lobby to bury its failures, like the high cost of energy from Enron, under the mud of an event like grid collapse that has relation with reforms.

A grid collapse is essentially a feature of power demand, supply and grid discipline. Whenever the demand for electricity exceeds the supply, the grid frequency falls. Conversely, the grid frequency rises when supply exceeds the demand. The load despatch centre asks a certain load centre to cut-off in the first case a particular generating station to back-off generation in the second. Enthusiastic utilities, driven by productivity linked bonuses, are known to ignore such instructions. Such a situation can lead to a power station tripping on under frequency or over frequency and thereby cause an avalanche of tripping of power houses leading to a grid collapse.


It is not my intention to discuss reforms, but the views of the other side have not received even a fraction of the coverage that the reformists have received. The only rational logic in favour of reforms is the prospect of huge private sector investment, which is required to fill the gap between demand and supply of power. But if it is to be at an exorbitant cost as Enron, the Government will be well advised to invest through the public sector.

RAJIV AWASTHI, Dharamshala

Let us talk

It was refreshing to read that PML president, Syed Kabir Ali Wasti has welcomed the ceasefire in Kashmir.

However, we may differ in our opinions, at least someone has seen the wisdom in making a statement of this nature. Until we stop killing each other, until we stop getting at each other’s throats, until we stop being unfriendly, until we start being friendly, neighbourly and be able to sit and discuss matters, there will never be any hope of peace.

Whatever the differences, whatever the problems, if we cannot learn to live amicably with neigbours, there is no hope, ever. All the lost lives, all the lost resources have not resolved the situation and it never will, until we appreciate the wisdom of sitting together as friends and neighbours and talk.

One unnecessary death on ‘our’ side or on ‘their’ side is one too many. It is the solemn duty and moral responsibility of every human being, more so of people in power, to help make this world a better place to live in. So let us get talking and stop destroying this beautiful earth.

S.C. SOOD, Glasgow (UK)

Taxes for Gujarat

I was disappointed to read Mr Vajpayee’s statement asking people to be prepared for taxes in the wake of the Gujarat earthquake. We all know that there is no dearth of donors in an emergency, natural or man-made. We saw this at the time of the Kargil war and even now people are making donations. Those who cannot donate cash are helping by other means, clothes, food and as volunteers. NRIs are collecting money in every part of the world. Other countries are donating in millions. World Bank is giving a loan.

But, I have not seen any politician pay one day’s salary to the relief fund. Of course they release money from relief accounts but not a single penny of their own. They know how to pass it on to the common man. It is time for the politicians to think what they can do for the country and not what the country has done for them.

MANDEEP SINGH, Indianapolis (USA)

Engineering college

In December last, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, cancelled the affiliation of Anupama College of Engineering, Gurgaon, and declared that all students of this college would be shifted to other engineering colleges. Almost one month has passed but the university has not taken any action in this regard. The future of the students of this college is at stake.

V.K. SHARMA, New Delhi

PU crisis

The set-back to the development of Panjab University, Chandigarh, due to a financial crunch has touched the hearts of many old students of this university. I am sure if it is brought to the notice of its old students who may be well off, they will willingly come to the aid of their Alma Mater, which is one of the country’s premier and prestigious educational institutions.

There will be many such old students in India as well as abroad. Only it has to be brought to their notice through the media and the moment it is done, the university will certainly come out of this financial crisis.

JYOTSNA, Panchkula


Villagers’ noble gesture

AMIDST political turmoil, scams and scandals, upheavals and violence in the country, if some of the villages undertake an activity of goodwill, amity and secularism, it would be unfair to overlook and not to highlight it. What is due to the deserving must be given. Hence a brief sketch of two Punjab villages.

A notable village after Jeewanpura, which rendered noble service to the victims of the recent rail disaster, is Jatti Umran (Amritsar). Residents of this village arranged a series of “paths” for the safety of Mr Nawaz Sharif and again “thanksgiving congregation” for the remission of his sentence and the safety of his family at Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), notwithstanding the bitterness generated by the present-day rulers in Pakistan.

The people of Jatti Umran retain the nostalgic memories of the visit of the father of Mr Nawaz Sharif, Mian Mohd Sharif, some 18 years ago and his managing employment for some of the unemployed youths of the village in the factory of his son in Dubai. The villagers of Jatti Umran have offered to spare land and build a house for the family of Mr Nawaz Sharif in case it opts to migrate to India and settle in the village.

Another village that reflects a secular outlook is Chahar Majra (Mullanpur) where Sant Waryam Singh, founder of the Vishav Gurmat Ruhani Mission, has got constructed a beautiful mosque with the help of the villagers and gifted it to the 15-odd Muslim families living there. This unprecedented gesture means that the Muslim families there will no longer have to travel 15 km to offer prayers in the mosque at Burail village.

The Chahar Majra mosque was formally dedicated to the people of the village by the Punjab Finance Minister (The Tribune, Dec 29).

Fundamentalists should learn a lesson from the acts of the secular villagers of Punjab.

Prof Sudarshan Dhingra, Abohar

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