Indo-Pak series: Prasar Bharati wakes up late

PRASAR Bharati, now realising the golden goose flying away, has suddenly woken up to the opportunity lost. It is devising ways to get the terrestrial rights of the Indo-Pak series by raving and rattling in the media that only 45 million people will get to see the series. It is very obvious that Prasar Bharati has a commercial reason behind this entire hullabaloo.

After getting AIR rights for only US $ 0.04 million crore they have already sold advertisement spots for over 13 times what they had actually paid! Now they are trying to acquire TV rights at a paltry cost of $4 million so that they earn a revenue of 40 times. Does this expose the commercial interests of the national broadcaster, counterfeiting their claim of “national interest”?

Ten Sports, which has acquired the telecast rights through a legal and transparent bidding process for the next five years, is being asked to not to consider the commercial aspect. Why? When we all know that the whole economy runs on the principle of wealth maximisation?



Ten Sports acquired these rights before the Indo-Pak series was on. Where was Prasar Bharati when the series was being considered? Why didn’t they ask for rights at that time? Why didn’t Prasar Bharati create a hue and cry over the recently concluded Indo-Australian series? It makes me ponder if there is a catch, besides the emotional angle. There is a huge commercial gap too between the two series. Prasar Bharati has suddenly tasted its sloth. However, who gives it the right to overrun other channel’s rights? This is amazingly ludicrous.


Passport applications

This has reference to the report on the inaugural ceremony of the Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh (Feb 11). It is incorrect to say that the applicants were left stranded during the visit of the Union Minister for the inaugural ceremony. In fact, our counters were operational hours before the normal opening time. We had deployed additional officers and staff at public dealing seats to accept the passport applications and redress public grievances. The first application was received in this office at 8.30 am. There was no person left behind to be entertained up to 12.30 pm. when the public hall was closed for security reasons.

However, there is a possibility that a rare late comer may have engaged the attention of your correspondent after public dealing hours. As a matter of fact, a total of 506 applications were received for issuance of passports, 93 for miscellaneous services which is significally higher than our normal daily intake. Besides, a total of 600 passports were issued and 63 passports were delivered to applicants between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm on Feb 10.

All public dealing officers except the Regional Passport Officer met with several applicants between 4.30 pm and 6 pm to address their grievances. Obviously, the office functioned normally to the extent possible and inconvenience, if any, caused to any applicant is deeply regretted.

S. BHARDWAJ, Public Relations Officer, Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh

Indian alumni for Lahore

ON March 15, a new kind of journey begins from New Delhi. The Indian alumni of Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, have been invited to take part in the 90th celebration of the college day.

Although there have been a few mutually enriching visits of the alumni between the two countries since 1947, this visit is unique. The group of about 30, their ages ranging from the late seventies to mid-twenties, comprises grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters and nieces, among others, of the alumni past and present.

A visit from such a composite group augurs well for the building of bridges of continuing goodwill and understanding between India and Pakistan.



Bone crushing units

Apropos of Ms Aditi Tandon’s article (Feb 18), a regular system prevails for the collection and disposal of dead animals. Small collection centres are spread over the state. Each centre takes care of about 10 villages. The animal is flayed for its hide and the bones recovered from the carcass are separately stored and sent to the bone crushing mill for sale.

The bone crushing industry is export-oriented, making products such as bone meal fertiliser, ossein and gelatin. It earns good foreign exchange. About 5,000 families are involved in this trade in Punjab. Along with the bone mill, they act as scavengers for proper disposal of dead animals. Roughly, we are processing 5,000 tonnes of raw bone annually. In the absence of the bone industry, there would be utter chaos and pollution. There are four bone crushing units in Punjab.

Unfortunately, all flaying and storage of dead animals is done by poor people. The government should open at least one regular flaying centre for every 10 villages to ensure smooth flaying and storage of the bones.

VIR KHANNA, Punjab Bone Mills, Chiheru (Phagwara)

Corrupt to the core

This has reference to the news-item pertaining to the BJP chargesheet against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s one-year rule. Mr Virbhadra Singh’s reaction to the charge-sheet was in bad taste. A man who talks at his full throat of eliminating corruption was himself involved in it.

Should the people of the state assume that only the BJP’s Dhumal government was corrupt? The infrastructure for corruption has been provided by the Congress to the nation. It seems that the Chief Minister is unable to see the wood for trees.


In bad taste

Comparing the Sikh Panj Piaras with the Panj Piaras of the Gujarat Congress (Feb 25) was in bad state. This has hurt the feelings of the Sikhs. The Panj Piaras of the Sikhs are held in high esteem as they are the upholder of the highest order of reverence by the Sikhs.

Panj Piaras were baptised Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh by administering ‘Amrit’ to them. Later, he himself partook ‘Amrit’ from them to become their disciple.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |