Wednesday, March 14, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Small-scale industry in crisis

A large number of small-scale industrial units in Haryana are facing hardships following the decision of the state electricity board to raise the minimum charges from Rs 60 per kilowatt to Rs 200 per kilowatt, from January 2001

Due to an overall recession, the industry in general is in bad shape and production schedules have been curtailed due to lack of orders. As a result, the consumption of electricity has also come down since the equipment is not working to full capacity.

In such a grim situation, the woes of the industry have increased with the units being asked to pay over three times the previous rates for electricity not consumed. The ground realities have obviously not been taken into account before enforcing this drastic measure.

Unless the board reviews its decision, the very survival of small-scale units will be threatened and these will close down or shift to other states where the power tariff is comparatively low.

J. S. GUJRAL, Panchkula


Buddha statues

The Taliban vandalism reminds one of the similar vandalism practised in India by alien invaders during the medieval period. While the true Islamists of the world have condemned the Taliban vandalism, it is paradoxical that a citizen of India, Syed Ahmed Bukhari has justified it. He is on record to have said, “I cannot condemn Taliban because they are fighting for our cause”.

Though the statement of Mr Bukhari has been negated by many reputed Islamic scholars and leaders worldwide, Indian Muslims must stop paying heed to him, for he wants, as he had said, to create Taliban like conditions in India.




Postal rates

When postal rates are revised, extra stamps of the required value have to be affixed on old postal stationery. The post offices generally do not affix the required stamps and simply hand over to the customer postal stationery together with the stamps required to be affixed. It is common knowledge that postal stationery does not have sufficient adhesive so the stamps do not stick unless extra gum or other glue is used. Some unscrupulous postal employees even remove the extra stamps. The result is that these become under-stamped and the adressees have to pay the penalty.

During the British rule, when the rates of post cards and envelopes were raised the extra amount was superimposed on the printed stamps on post cards and envelopes. This saved the department the cost of printing extra stamps. Now that the rates have been revised in the budget, the department should revive the system of superimposing the revised rates on the embossed stamps on post cards etc.

R. S. DUTTA, Chandigarh

Forest fires

This has reference to the report, “Forest fires belie department’s claim” in The Tribune of March 6. The report claims that many forest fires have occurred in the Dharampur Range of Solan Forest Division and have resulted in the loss of many forest trees. No fire in any government forest areas has taken place. All fires reported have been in private lands on which the Forest Department has no jurisdiction.

The report has further mentioned that people’s rights for T.D. (Timber distribution) and fodder from the forests have been curtailed. No such rights have been curtailed. People are collecting fodder and grass as per availability and timber is given to them as per rules.

The report also creates the impression that people are not co-operating with the department. The department is holding regular meetings with panchayats to seek their co-operation and is creating awareness about forest fires and their prevention. One such meeting was held on March 5 at Garhkal where pradhans and members of panchayats promised all help to the Forest Department. Awareness is also being spread through pamphlets and meetings in schools and village development Committees (VDC).

S. K. SHARMA, D.F.O. Solan

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