Saturday, April 14, 2001
M A I L  B O X

City Beautiful, city unsafe

Apropos of Ruchika M Khanna’s write-up "City beautiful, city unsafe" (March 17), it is evident that fear of crime and violence has affected the quality of life of the people of Chandigarh.

During the past few decades, the policy on account of their pre-occupation with order maintenance duties, have neglected crime prevention and crime control functions. Crime cases relating to the citizens hardly get any attention.

Vigilance is the price of liberty. By the same token only a vigilant and pro-active citizenry can save society from crime. While schemes like community policing and neighbourhood watch can be implemented successfully with the cooperation of an enlightened citizenry and a benign police administration, the common man can take some inexpensive steps to bring crime under control.

Prepare an inventory of all valuables at home and keep them at a safe place. In the case of theft or loss, these details will enable the police to expedite investigation and locate them.

Careful inspection of premises should be done from the point of view of preventing any unauthorised entry. Grills and other protective devices should be fixed wherever necessary. When away on vacation, the beat watchman should be informed and asked to visit the premises regularly.

When elderly people or the lady of the house are alone for longer periods, frequent telephone calls should be made to check on their welfare. Make foolproof arrangements to pick up and drop school-going children.

Children should never be allowed to stay alone in the house. Schools should also ensure that class teachers supervise the departure of children from school. Domestic servants should never be employed without prior reference and police background verification.

When any criminal activity like drug-pushing, eve-teasing and loitering is noticed in the locality, the residents’ association should promptly bring these to the notice of senior police officers, and take collective action to drive out the evil from the locality. Lastly, crime can be controlled, if not completely eradicated, if citizens give a helping hand to the police. The aforesaid measures can be tried with little effort and at a low cost. Let us all come together to combat the current crime menace and save the City Beautiful from degenerating into the ‘City Unsafe’.

K.M. Vashisht


It is really shocking to learn that Chandigarh has fallen prey to criminal activities that are common in metros. I agree that it is result of unchecked urbanisation and fast-eroding social cohesiveness. Thanks to quick reaction by the police, criminals have been nabbed in almost all cases. This sudden spurt in crime is a sad reflection in our way of living. We, who love to call ourselves modern and for more civilised than our previous generations have faltered in maintaining an atmosphere of mutual concern with our neighbours that was the hallmark of day-to-day living a decade or two ago.

We keep ourselves busy with our very own families, professional pursuits and watching TV so there is hardly any contact between even next-door neighbours, leave aside with those living a few blocks away. Then there is rarely any reaction to strange sounds, shrieks, and cries for help. More often than not these are completely ignored. Just going out, switching on the lights and shouting etc can save someone’s property or life. In most cases criminals get scared when people are vigilant and get together in the time of crisis. So be more vigilant, reactive, helpful and live a crime-free life.

B.M. Puri

Mind games

This refers to "Mind Games" by Aditya Rishi (March 24). Perhaps the readers would be interested to know more about pi, the constant ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. While for long Europe had been using the value of, pi correct only to two decimal places, the Hindu mathematician, Aryabhat, who was born in 476 AD, had calculated pi to five decimal places, that is 3.14159. Much later, William Shanks, calculated the value upto 700 decimal places to find out if there was any pattern in the emerging figures, only to find that there was none. Much later, a German mathematician proved that pi could not be the root of an algebraic equation, pi is what is called a transcental number. The decimal is endless.

Incidentally, pi can be expressed as an infinite series containing only integers.

V.P. Malhotra

Paradise reclaimed

This refers to ‘Paradise reclaimed’ by Reeta Sharma (March 31). Kudos to the Army’s Operation Sahyog. Ultimately it was the Army which came to the ‘rescue’ (of Harike) but of a different kind, despite indifferent bureaucrats.

However, often the army has been used (or rather misused) for tasks bit is not meant for. It should stick to for what it is intended for i.e. the defence of the nation.

The concept of Eco-territorial Army is very good. The message should spread to other states too.

Roshni Johar