Involving people in saving wild animals

APROPOS of the article “Human cost of saving the wild” (Oct 20), the Great Himalayan National Park has one of the highest sighting rates of Monal (5 to 7 Monal per sq km) and Western Tragopan (1.5 Western Tragopan per sq. km.). Similarly, the Park has one of the highest densities of Musk Deer in the region (1.5 to 3 Musk Deer per sq km based on Silent Drive method); Himalayan Tahr (.9 to 2.6 H. Tahr per sq km based on transect method) and Ghoral (5 to 7 Ghoral per sq km based on transect method).

These census results are favourably comparable with the census results of these species anywhere else in the Western Himalayas. The article does not convey a proper picture.

During past five years at the GHNP, the park management has tried to organise and involve the local community in saving of wild animals and medicinal plants. For this reason, the poor households (who mostly depended upon the natural resources of the park) of the local community have been organised in women saving and credit groups, the male members of which are part of patrolling parties and of street theatre which goes into the field and into the ecozone villages campaigning against poaching and illegal medicinal plant collection.



Our best learning at the Park is that if we genuinely want to contribute to biological diversity conservation, we need to first resolve the socio-economic issues of the local people. The habitat of wild animals and plants will be better protected if the local villagers stand by the forest guard and assist him in protection of natural resources.

SANJEVA PANDEY, Director GHNP, Shamshi (Kullu)

A brave gesture

In his front-page editorial “Ferrying peace” (Oct. 24), Mr H.K. Dua has rightly observed that the peace process initiated by India has the backing of the ever-growing constituency of peace across the border and also a symbol of the dwindling zone of war. A lot can be seen in the small initiatives to melt the deep rooted distrust which occasional high-power talks have failed to achieve.

India’s offer should not be construed as a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a friendly neighbour’s brave gesture to establish peace. No doubt, the prophets of doom would be alarmed at this sign of statesmanship over parochial considerations and the people on both sides should be watchful in the larger interest of the humankind. For, as Mr Dua said, three wars have not been able to resolve the tangle of Kashmir. Let the initiative now pass to the people and let peace have a chance.

Dr J.S. ANAND, Bathinda


Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has taken firm and calculated steps to normalise relations between India and Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir is the apple of discord which acted as a catalyst to fight three wars without any tangible results. Pakistan’s obsession for the Indian part of Jammu and Kashmir is potentially catastrophic but the military regimes and the limping popular rulers have nothing to offer to the people of Pakistan except building up euphoria to annex Kashmir.

Pak-sponsored terrorism has left ugly scars on the fair face of India. The profusely bleeding Jammu and Kashmir has turned the Jhelum and the Chenab red. Lakhs have left their homes in the valley to avoid bullets. Even beyond Kashmir, they attacked Akshardam and Indian Parliament. We took drastic diplomatic measures to pressurise Pakistan to reign in terrorism, duly funded and sponsored by her.

We gave a new lease of life to the ailing Noors of Pakistan. But will our worthy measures move the crooked hearts of Pakistani rulers? No. Except Kashmir, there is absolutely no matter of contention between India and Pakistan.

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam


Mr H.K. Dua has rightly and perspicaciously welcomed the new peace proposals by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Proposals like the resumption of rail and air lines, cricket and others are based on the assumption that terrorism, obscurantism, exploitation and serfdam would never succeed. The move is also based on the premise that the leaders of both countries would feel the heart-beat of the citizens and will be empowered to see afar and free the countries from the slough in which our politicians usually enjoy floundering.



Apropos of your report “GRP Head Constable committed suicide” (Oct 31), the deceased Head Constable, Ram Lal, was not an employee of the Government Railway Police (GRP). He was posted with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) unit at Jagadhari. While GRP is a state police force, RPF is a Central Government police force.

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE, Railways & Technical Services Haryana, Panchkula

Overdue reforms in PPSC

EVER since the PCS scam was unearthed, the Punjab Public Service Commission has evolved a fair system of judging a candidate’s capabilities based on his/her interview techniques. Under this system, four examiners will judge the candidate and the final marks will be based on the average of all the marks awarded by the examiners. This system is transparent as the candidate will be screened in a smooth and orderly manner with no chance of corruption.

The Punjab Chief Minister and the PPSC Chairman did play a pivotal role in introducing this overdue reform in the recruitment. Earlier candidates used to succumb to all undue and unfair demands of the greedy and unscrupulous people. I would like to add that there is a need to select people of strong character and integrity. This applies to both for the PPSC and the PCS posts.



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