Thursday, September 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Need to ban polythene bags & explore alternatives

Polythene bags are formed of plastic. Now in today's life plastic has become a part of our every day life. Plastic can be moulded into any shape and is therefore, the material for packaging. They occupy less space and are waterproof. Plastic bags are also much stronger than the paper bags. Especially when kitchen garbage is put into paper bags they tear easily, or water which is a major component of kitchen garbage leaks out. In other words, plastic is durable, but it is this durability of plastic that is cause of worry for environmentalists.

In the developed countries, polythene bags have been banned. The annual production of plastic in our country is 16 metric tons, two thirds of which is imported from European countries. From these 16 metric tons, 4 metric tons go towards the manufacture of polythene carry bags alone. These polythene bags do not degrade and decompose naturally. We throw those polythene bags which are of not any use. These bags are set under the earth and could remain same in the soil upto 300 years.

Another mode of plastic disposal, and the most dangerous is burning which causes breathing problems. It releases toxic waste products like dioxins and furons into the atmosphere.



We have other alternatives to polythene. There are so many ecofriendly, biodegradable alternatives like recycled paper, cloth bags, banana fibre, palmyrah leaves and reeds. If we have so many other alternatives, why should we use only polythene bags? We know that other alternatives are expensive but nothing is as expensive as our environment. People need to be educated not only about the hazards of indiscriminate plastic use, but also about the importance of cleanliness. It is, therefore, suggested that the government ban polythene bags.


No Internet services

I would like to draw the attention of the Telecommunication officials of Kalka and Pinjore. Internet services are not available for Kalka and Pinjore since September 2001. We are forced to visit Parwanoo or Panchkula for surfing.

I have been regularly following up the problem with the Public Relations Officer and the General Manager, Telephones, at Ambala Cantonment. In April this year, the GM and the PRO informed me that there is a part which synchronises the digital (internet) data. They said this has been ordered already to PCL Mohali and that once this was installed by the end of May, internet services will be available.

Surprisingly, however, nothing has happened in the last three months. We do not get any concrete reply from the authorities concerned. They keep changing their views often. If they tell us today that some part will be replaced, the next day, they maintain that the equipment needs to be synchronised. The people of Kalka and Pinjore are a harassed lot in the hands of these officials. There is a great financial loss to the BSNL and the cyber cafe holders.

RAM RATTAN KALIA, Pinjore (Haryana)


The face of corruption

I would like to express my appreciation of the bold attitude steadfastly guarded by The Tribune. The media is supposed to be the voice of the voiceless people. In the conflicting interests of the government and business, we have witnessed the business invariably wins with power of money it can wield to thwart the genuine government’s policies and principles. The media as such must, as an impartial instrument, point out where the governments fail. It must act in the wider and deeper interest of those who have no backing of wealth.

In our so-called democratic and fair society where the powers that be appear to have succumbed to the narrow and at times callous interests of mighty big business, we need a force of independent yet effective media to serve as check on the inequities resulting from the buddy buddy relationship of twin sisters or brothers called business and government.

Imagine a student who has spent 10/20 precious years of his /her life to study hard and long, sacrificing years of comfort in the hope of reaping the fruits of labor later. Yet when the time comes, they should see their labours washed away with a single stroke of Ravi Sidhu and his likes rewarding highly responsible positions to those who flunked years of studies and were able to buy out those jobs with ill-earned wealth. Nothing could be more demoralising and heart breaking than this face of corruption. The real traitors of the Ram Raj, if there we could conceive one, are these people and they deserve no mercy from the media. The Tribune has shown genuine strength and moral character by not bowing to the power of state and money in speaking out courageously. Hats off to The Tribune and its Editor.

BALRAJ CHEEMA, Mississauga, Canada

No rehabilitation

I have been following the recent events in the Narmada Valley, and am appalled by the lack of justice for the people who face submergence by the rising waters of the catchment areas of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The Daud Committee Report as well as the recent public hearing report have clearly shown that there has been no rehabilitation even for people who faced submergence when the dam height was raised to 90m. The height of the dam is now 95m, and I am shocked to hear that the insensitive Gujarat government is suggesting raising it to 100m when there is no sign of fair rehabilitation for people.

Over one thousand families in Maharashtra face submergence, 1960 in Madhya Pradesh, and 195 in Gujarat. Water height rose to 102m between August 20 and 22, causing widespread destruction. With more rain in the upper reaches of the Narmada, further submergence looms for people who have nowhere else to go, because rehabilitation promised to them has not been given.

The media should rise to the occasion and cover the events in the valley, and throw light on how the already downtrodden people of the country are being further marginalised. Please do not turn a blind eye to the needs of the people in their time of need.


Territorial Army

Apropos of the report "Government servants to serve in Territorial Army" (Aug 25), I thank the Centre for having accepted the recommendations of the K.P. Singh Deo Committee regarding compulsory military training for two months to all new entrants in Central Government posts.

This would especially help civil servants inculcate honesty, discipline and bravery. which our legions are following without any dilemma.


Shocking abduction

This refers to the editorial “Veerappan strikes again” (Aug 27). The news of Mr Nagappa's abduction was shocking. As history repeats itself, so has Veerappan repeated his old theory. Two years back it was Kannada superstar Rajkumar and now Mr Nagappa has become his hostage. I fully concur with the view that Veerappan should be caught live or dead. It is good that the bandit has not kept any deadline for acceptance of his demands. The authorities concerned should scoure the bandit immediately so that the Janata Dal leader is freed from his clutches as soon as possible without the government bowing to any of his demands. The reprehensible bandit should be dealt with severely and must not go unpunished.

SUMEDHA ARYA, Chandigarh

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