Monday, October 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Hefty increase in drug licence fee

The Punjab Government has recently increased the issuance and renewal fee for each of the wholesale and retail sale drug licences from Rs 80 for two years (which comes to Rs 200 for five years) to Rs 3000 for five years. This increase by 14 times has come as a bolt from the blue for the licensees. The skyrocketting increase is unparallel in the taxation history of any State/Central Government and, therefore, has caused great resentment amongst the chemists.

This hefty increase would hit hard the common chemists. It is strange that when the Government, in the wake of forthcoming Assembly elections, has been announcing various sops for the people of all shades, it has come down heavily on the chemists by increasing their licences fee. It is likely that many chemists would have to reluctantly surrender their drug licences for cancellation due to their limited income and thus wind up their business. Would it not be gross injustice to deprive them of their livelihood?

The Punjab Government should look into the matter and withdraw the hike forthwith failing which the chemists would be forced to take resort to agitational approach for justice. It may not be out of place to mention that the last date for the renewal of drug licences is always December 31 of the relevant year. So the hike may be withdrawn well in advance.

D.P. JINDAL Mandi Gobindgarh


Disaster management

This refers to the report “Experts want law on disaster management” (Oct 22) which states that the high-powered committee on disaster management has recommended a suitable law which would define the role of various agencies and make them accountable, as well. This is a step in the right direction.

Disasters are a worldwide phenomenon, and India, as a nation, has had its fair share of disasters, natural and man-made. Different places of India are affected by different types of disasters and they come in the shape of storms, cyclones hurricanes, tidal waves, floods, cloud bursts, excessive rains, earthquakes, droughts, avalanches, land slides, fires, enemy activity, arson, sabotage, riots, accidents, explosions, deforestation and so on.

As disasters can hardly be predicted, we must remain, in a state of constant vigil to minimise the great material damage and distress that they bring. Educating people about rescue wok, first aid, transportation of victims and co-operating with relief teams can be of immense value in such situations. The USA has recently created a separate department of “Home-land security”. It would be worthwhile to explore the possibility of emulating this an idea in India.

M. K. BAJAJ Yamunanagar

No basic amenities

Recently I visited Fun City near Chandigarh, for the first time. It seemed more like a money minting machine to me. Not only the rides looked outdated but also the basic amenities like drinking water and toilets were ignored. In such a large complex I could only find one drinking water outlet and two public toilets near the entrance of the complex. It is more surprising because during the week it is the schools that bring their kids to the park, now the management could not be expected the kids to loosen their pockets for cold drinks or run to the main entrance every time they wanted to pee.

The only cafeteria, if it could be so called, is poorly managed and unhygienic. To clean the tables the waiters simply wipe the table with a cloth scattering the waste from the table to the floor from where the flock of geese that cackle around while the customers eat peck it away. The place badly needs overhauling. I hope the management of the place would look into the matter with the same zest that they show while issuing the tickets.


Pak govt in doldrums

Apropos of the editorial "Between reality and rhetoric" (Oct 25), Gen Musharraf’s military government is in doldrums following the recent strikes and protests against his support to the USA to snuff out the Taliban regime. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee stated in Lucknow recently that it was Islamabad who nurtured Taliban in Afghanistan and continued to tap its back for glorification of ‘jehad’. Under the roof of Taliban’s support, Islamabad used to frown and snarl at India so as to be wary in dealing with them. But things have changed after that.

Religious fanatics who fight in the name of jehad to disseminate terror are no longer Goliath in front of the NATO coalition. The premonition of cautioning Muslims to keep aloof from working in tall buildings and aboarding planes have come out to be ‘damp squibs’. Between this glamour and chaos, Gen Musharraf has a tough time dealing with the world community and his own men in Pakistan.

PIYUSH GUPTA Hisar (Haryana)

Disturbing news

News about what happened in Ayodhya is very disturbing. It is an indication that anyone can play with law of the land. What is the signal being sent to the common citizen? That religion card will be played again and again, and again people will be killed and burned just because a few people want to show their importance and power?

Where is democracy in India? I am sure that you will agree with my point of view.

Samuel Arthur (On e-mail)

Doctor’s English

In the “Dehati programme” broadcast in Punjabi by Akashvani’s Jalandhar kendra from 6-30 p.m. to 7-30 p.m. on October 13, a doctor, while expressing his medical views, used a number of English words, such as internal bleeding, menstruation, anaemia, pregnant women, iron requirement, children, haemoglobin, patients, food, acid, nutrients, liver, dry fruit, green vegetables, vegetarians, supplement, constipation, daily, diarrhoea, etc.

“Dehati programme” is mainly for rural listeners. Most of them, particularly the women, are either stark illiterate or not well-educated. I don’t think that they had understood what the doctor had explained in English terms.


Indifferent govt

This is in response to the report “Ministers may get luxury cars".

How can a Chief Minister think of even such an idea when he cannot provide the people of his state with good roads, regular electric supply and water? By the way, I did not find many admirers of his administration among ordinary citizens. A number of people of authority told me many things shocking about his rule.

I was in Haryana in August for two weeks. Except for the GT Road, all the roads are in a shambles. I travelled all over Haryana by road and was in pain to see the poor condition of roads. Unmarked speed breakers are travellers nightmare. Rohtak District was the worst. An hour of rain in Rohtak resulted in flooding of the city.

As it was summer time, electric supply was erratic and water was available only for a few hours.

Roadways bus stands were filthy with heaps of trash everywhere. Even the Haryana tourism resorts - once the pride of the state — were unclean with sub-standard food. People’s attitude towards cleanliness was callous.

The only redeeming feature was the sprucing up of Yamuna Nagar (the city where I lived for 14 years before immigrating to the USA on the occasion of Independence Day as Mr Chautala was to preside over the State Function.

Overall, I came back very disheartened, not so much because of the Haryana politicians or administrators but due to the indifference of people towards the sorry state of affairs.

ASHOK MALIK Santa Clara, California (USA)

Big hindrance

I have been living in North America for the last 27 years and all the time I look at The Tribune, I realise that Pakistan and Kashmir is a major issue that is a big hindrance in the development and industrialisation of India. Now India has a very good opportunity under the name of terrorism. As soon as the USA comes out of Afghanistan, India should take some drastic steps to move in to Pakistan and split the country (Pakistan) in to two little Pakistans. This way all the terrorist training can be eliminated.

R. SINGH (On e-mail)


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