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Sunday, June 22, 2003

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Chandigarh: Make room for more

THIS refers to "Chandigarh: Make room for more" by Kuljit Bains (June 8). The writer has highlighted a number of problems plaguing City Beautiful. There is no escape from the growing population consisting mainly of migrant workers. The administration should tackle this issue by making timely plans for the orderly expansion of the city and its periphery.

In order to plan for the future, the authorities of the three state adjoining Chandigarh have to play a cooperative and constructive role to ensure adequate planned growth in their respective areas, so as to house a majority of the new population. Punjab has a major role to play in this regard and must not allow haphazard construction, as observed around Kharar, Zirakpur and on the road to Panchkula. Punjab must ensure proper and planned development of not only these towns but also in the complete belt from north west of Chandigarh to the border with Panchkula. Similarly Haryana and HP also must chip in for developing their areas adjoining Chandigarh. A high-level committee comprising representatives of all three states and the UT should plan for the growth of the region.

H.S. Sandhu, Panchkula

Human rights in Punjab

This refers to "They did what CBI could not" by A. J. Philip (June 1). The authors of the book have done a remarkable job against the greatest of odds.

It is a pity that a state claiming to represent one of the oldest civilisations could dehumanise itself to such an extent, ostensibly to fight terrorism.

The Nazis persecuted and tried to eliminate Jews by the thousand in the last century. Even then most of the victims of that genocide have been accounted for. But in the case of the victims of the "fight against terrorism" in Punjab every shred of evidence of the existence of the victims was attempted to be obliterated.

The review was a timely reminder and perhaps will touch the conscience of the silent majority which wishes to still belong to a civilised society.

The review underlined the harsh reality of a state which could not live up to the promise of representing a just society.

Sikandar Singh, Chandigarh

Puppet celebrities

This refers to Vimla Patilís write-up "Are celebrity icons puppets in the hands of promoters?" (June 8). It is interesting to learn that many celebrities earn more from their endorsement contracts than from their main professions. I feel they must concentrate more on their main profession rather than devoting time to endorsing products in a bid to make a fast buck. By endorsing products that they themselves do not use and of which they do not have much knowledge, are they not misleading their fans and exploiting their celebrity status? Are such celebrities worthy of being role models? It is shocking to learn that many celebrities charge money even to appear at charity functions. The manufactures, too, must not base their campaigns on the iconic status of celebrities but rather on the intrinsic worth of their products.

Onkar Chopra, New Delhi

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