Saturday, August 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


PSEB salary cut: charity begins at home

I whole heartedly support the government decision to go in for a 25 per cent cut in the salaries of PSEB employees. However, the salaries of all ministers and MLAs should also be subjected to a cut of 50per cent. Mobile telephones should be withdrawn from everyone. The CM and his colleagues should stop visiting their constituencies, avoid inaugurations, laying of foundation stones etc as this will save a lot of money and their precious time. They should move around like ordinary citizens without any security over.

Only the Commissioners, DCs, the CS, DG (Admn.), ADGP (Prison), ADGP (Intelligence), ADGP (Vigilance), IGs , DIGs and SSPs should be allowed to keep the official car. The rest of the IAS and IPS officers should not be given any official car. They should be given Rs 4,000 p.m. for maintaining their personal cars. If the electricity board can withdraw official cars, fix the limit of telephones even up to the Chief Engineer level, then why the state government cannot do the same for its officers. All the IAS, IPS and other officers should also be subjected to a 25 per cent cut in their salaries until the situation eases. All Chairmen of various boards and corporations should be asked to stay at their respective places of posting.

Charity begins at home.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala




Badal's remark

I am astonished by Mr Parkash Singh Badal's remark that a number of Congress MLAs, being dissatisfied with the working of the present Chief Minister, have approached him for the formation of an Akali government.

Mr Badal, instead of thinking good of Punjab, is busy daydreaming. He should bear in mind that the five years of misrule he ushered in the state has not only led to the economic but also moral and spiritual decay of the state. The people are fed up listening to the news regarding capture of gold and cash from the bank lockers of his former ministers. He should direct his party men to prove their innocence before the law instead of hiding and developing brain tumors!

I hope Mr Badal understands that the people now want five years of tranquility and social justice.

DR AMRITPAL SINGH, Iowa State University, USA

Psychic inheritance

In the article "Psychic inheritance" (July 15), Mr Jhunjhunwala urges the Dalits to follow the late Mr Dhirubhai's footsteps and rise to the billionaire's level. May I remind him that out of one billion Indians there was only one Dhirubhai, who rose from hawking on the street to building an empire.. All Indians should aspire for that and try to follow in his footsteps but to single out the Dalits and label any government service as Shudra based on the label of service caste is misguided.

Mr Jhunjhunwala and his brethren should get out of their narrow "orbit" and do their duty in the higher orbit of honour, integrity, religious tolerance of minorities and military service to protect the nation.


Forest cover

The "protecting trees and earn money" scheme announced by the Punjab Government encouraging farmers to take up roadside plantation is commendable. The scheme is required to be extended to cover river sides also which will protect soil erosion and floods in addition to providing additional area for plantation.

In order to enhance the depleting forest cover, converting cultivated land, grazings field and waste land located in the foothills of Pathankot, Mukerian, Balachaur and Ropar tehsils, into a forest area with people's participation needs to be considered.

China has converted many similar lands, which were threatening to become deserts, to lush green forests by acquiring land and paying adequate compensation to farmers.


IIT-JEE 2003

The examination schedule announced on July 20 by the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, for IIT-JEE 2003 has left thousands of IIT aspirants shell-shocked. The date for the screening test has been announced as 20.4.2003. In the past, this annual test used to be held in November or December of the preceding year and the results were declared in January. This arrangement provided about four months period to the successful candidates to prepare for the main examinations. Now the students will not get any time for preparation for the main examinations which are to be held on 25.5.2003 and there will hardly be a gap of two weeks between the dates of declaration of the result of the screening test and that of holding of the main examination.

Under the circumstances, the organising institute should bring the following changes into effect to prevent any hardship to the students: 1. Prescribe uniform syllabus for the screening as well as main examinations. 2. Convert the IIT main examination into an objective type test.

Otherwise the original pattern of holding the screening test in December and the main exam in May should be restored.

JAGVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh



Use of plastics

The debate on the use and abuse of plastics vis-a-vis environmental protection can go on without yielding results until concrete practical steps are initiated at the grassroots level by everyone who is in a position to do something about it.

An important area of daily life where perceptible difference can be made by reducing or abandoning the use of plastics altogether is milk, ghee, oil and sundry items like lentils, rice, flour, sugar etc. packaging industry.

As milk is a daily consumption item, it should not be packed in plastic pouches, but in cardboard cartons instead. Many countries use such cardboard cartons for the purpose. Cardboard being biodegradable is environment friendly. Besides, it has been proven scientifically that fat containing edibles, if stored in plastics, becomes a rich source of carcinogens (cancer-inducing chemicals).


Toll tax barrier

Every four-wheeler passing through the toll tax barrier on N.H. No 1 between Nilokheri/Taraori townships and Karnal has to pay a hefty tax from Rs 50 for a car to Rs 375 for a truck. If you buy a return pass for a car, you have to pay Rs 75 which is valid for the same date only.

Now what irritates us is that you can travel from Delhi and Karnal and back without paying any tax whereas if you travel a distance of 18 km between Nilokheri and Karnal & back you will have to pay Rs 75.

This decision of the government is impractical and arbitrary. We the residents of Nilokheri/Taraori are the worst hit. The government may levy some surcharge on the sale of petrol/diesel at the source of their supply. These funds can be used for the upkeep of roads or one-time road tax can be suitably increased.

JASJIT SINGH, Nilokheri (Karnal)

HPU's affidavit

The students of H.P. University are forced to sign an affidavit on the pretext of curbing unlawful activities on the campus. It is futile because a plethora of provisions are available in the Handbook of the university under which the admission of a student can be cancelled for indulging in sabotage and other unlawful activities.

The university has ensured a hefty income for advocates as each student is required to pay Rs 150 to 200 per affidavit.



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