Monday, November 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why is Akali Dal silent on POTO?

The Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) has been promulgated. The BJP-led government has done it knowing that it would be defeated in the Rajya Sabha. This has been done on communal considerations, keeping the coming UP elections in mind.

The DMK has come out openly against the Ordinance. Sadly, the other alliance partners in the government representing the regional parties are conspicuous by their silence.

Many parties have been ditched by voters in the past for having been a partner in the government and the Akali Dal and the TDP will meet the same fate in the assembly elections. The Akali Dal, which was on the forefront in the recent past to protect the life and liberty of the citizens, has forgotten its past and the demands of Punjab just for one berth in the Cabinet.


Electricity Bill

The Electricity Bill, 2001, due for discussion in the winter session of Parliament, fails to answer the question: why should the state electricity boards be liquidated and eventually handed over to the private sector? Will the SEBs not be profitable if the provisions of the existing law in respect of revenue realisation are enforced? The losses incurred are due to subsidies given by state governments rather than due to a failure of the existing system.


It seem the government does not want to learn any lesson from its experiences with Enron in Maharashtra and AES in Orissa. Enron's costliest project in the world has already put the MSEB on the verge of bankruptcy. A white paper should be circulated to initiate a reasonable and information debate on the Bill and only after clearly establishing the problems and locating their solutions, legislative changes, if required, be made.

V.K. GUPTA, Ropar

Railway bonus

The Railways has declared 57 days’ pay as bonus to its employees. Why and what for? Very soon the Railways will declare a shortfall in its budget and to meet it there will be an increase in the freight and fares. How can the government then deny such unwarranted and meaningless bonuses to other employees when the country is facing a financial crisis?

Lt Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

From same basket

Mr Tirath Garg in his letter “A tale for police-public cooperation” has, by implication, tried to compare the police force with a criminal tribe of professional thieves. This is unfortunate. True, policemen are not angels in uniform but one must not lose sight of the fact that but for the deterrent presence of the police, a state of absolute anarchy would prevail.

Anti-social and criminal elements would create havoc and it would be impossible for law-abiding citizens to lead normal lives. Police personnel in India do not lead a comfortable life. They have to carry out multifarious duties, lack a decent working environment and facilities and are paid peanuts — specially those who are at the middle and lower levels. And, at times, policemen have to lay down their lives in the line of duty.

And finally, one cannot ignore the ethos of society which produces all kinds of individuals — be it a policeman, a businessman, a politician or a criminal. We all come from the same basket.

Dr M.K. BAJAJ, Yamunanagar

Ticket scam

I commute between Amritsar and Jalandhar twice a week. I boarded Akal Takht Express on October 25, 2001, at Jalandhar. Being an M.S.T. holder, I purchased a supplementary ticket, required by an M.S.T. holder to travel in an express train. To my surprise, an old and unpunched ticked was given to me. The cost of a supplementary ticket is Rs 10 but Rs 5 was printed on the ticket. Is there a ticket scam?


Thank you, judiciary

Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered PUDA to clear encroachments in Mohali. After the removal of encroachments, the streets look spacious and beautiful. I thank the judiciary for giving us open space which belonged to us but had been encroached upon by citizens of our own town in violation of the law.


PTU rule

PTU has promulgated a new rule for examinations. If a student fails to clear the supplements of the 1st year within three semesters, the student will not be allowed to enter the 3rd year of engineering courses. The present rule is that one has to get 24 credits to enter the next class.

As this rule is not acceptable to the students, they have been on strike and the 1st year classes were discontinued on October 9, causing enormous academic loss. The striking students are unaware of its consequences.

As a guardian, I feel the move is right but not planned properly. I request the V.C. to implement the rule from the next session.

S.K. BHATNAGAR, Panchkula

Train timing

On persistent demand of the public, the departure time of 1BBR-Bathinda-Bhiwani train from Bathinda was changed from 5.35 am to 6.20 am to accommodate passengers of trains coming from the Ferozepur-Faridkot side. The public has been demanding more compartments due to heavy rush, but strange are the ways of Northern Railways, instead of increasing the number of coaches of the train, the Railways has changed the time of the train from 6.20 am to 5 am. As a result there is no connecting train for passengers coming from Fazilka, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Kotkapura, Jaitu, Goniana, Sriganganagar, Abohar and Gidderbaha up to 12.05 pm for towns like Sirsa, Hisar and Bhiwani. So there is an urgent need to restore the old time of 1 BBR train. It should preferably to 6.40 am so that the passengers coming from Sriganganagar side by 4712 Intercity Express reaching Bathinda at 6.35 am can also board the train and in this way Railways will also earn good revenue.



Apropos the article "Reservation or discrimination?" (Oct 22), it is probably the first time students are ineligible to apply for admission to educational institutions in the capital of their own state. One wonders why the UT of Chandigarh discriminates against the students of Punjab and Haryana in terms of admission and vice-versa.

M.S. CHAUHAN, Chandigarh

Kerala cures

There have been frequent advertisements regarding cures from Kerala by a unit in Sector 15, Panchkula. Their claims of treating spondylitis and backache are not correct. I underwent treatment for over one week for my backache and spondylitis. Having paid an exorbitant price for treatment, I found it absolutely ineffective. Similarly, I took one of my relations for a knee problem. She also underwent treatment for over one week but without any improvement.

Brig B.S. GREWAL, Chandigarh

Burning of leaves

Every morning when one starts the day's journey to work, smoke and dust engulf the road, causing allergy and other diseases. Municipal workers burn dry leaves and garbage collected under shrubs and trees, which also get burnt. This is the scene on the Maqbool Road where the residence of the D.C. of Amritsar is located. I request the authorities to ban this practice.


Unfinished agenda

People in Pakistan had been part of India not so long ago when the leadership & vested interests went in for partition after living together for centuries. In families too divisions do take place, but one need not become sworn enemies after parting ways. And what sort of partiton it had been? Leaders of those in majority chose to single out and expel the minorities. Events in Kashmir and purging the valley of the minorities are also on the pre-partition pattern. The reasons for such group dynamics need to be ascertained. The genesis of the Kashmir problem goes much beyond mere terrorism. It has to be tackled by first ending alienation of our people which allows neighbours to fish in troubled waters.


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