Axing of trees: No end to human greed

THE news-item “200 trees axed in Gurgaon Park” (April 14) is unfortunate. A tree is worth Rs 32 lakh (1988 prices). There is need to wage a war on the felling of trees. The ecological system is bound to give in under the pressure of industrial growth and human greed.

Whenever a civilisation has ignored ecology and environment, it has not survived. The civilisations of Nile, Greece, Syria, Mohenjodaro and Harappa were ruined because of the neglect of environment.

Noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna states that the issue is no more development and environment but that of survival or extinction. Mahatma Gandhi rightly remarked as far back as 1924: “Ecology and economy have common roots which need to be nursed by proper education — education that covers all aspects of human development and its survival”.

It has now become critical for everyone to be environmentally literate to be able to understand and systematically evaluate the cause and effect of economic development and growth which also results in the degradation of our surroundings, especially the eco-environment. The present education system does not attach much importance to environment. The people should understand the importance of environment in maintaining the ecological balance. A civil or structural engineer, for instance, should not only have sound knowledge of his discipline but also its social and environmental cost in the right perspective.

Dr G.S. BHALLA and ABHAY JAIN, GND University, Amritsar



Rooting out corruption

H.K. Dua’s article “Conspiracy of silence: Politicians are comfortable with corruption” (April 8) is timely. The hapless voter is definitely at crossroads to whom to vote. The major reason for the societal ills is the indifference of the intellectuals who could provide a direction to society on many an issue facing the nation, be it corruption, terrorism or communal harmony. The intellectual inertia must end. The literates amongst us should sincerely interact with society through the media and conduct meetings to spread awareness among people.

Let The Tribune initiate a regular public debate on various issues confronting society and offer solutions to the problems we face and let the leaders and their parties be weighed upon that scale only. If leaders and political parties don’t mend their ways to end corruption in public life, the bureaucracy cannot be expected to come clean on the issue of corruption.

B.B. Goyal, Ludhiana


Unfortunately, the common man continues to face hardship because of the corrupt officialdom. He can’t get any work done in any office without greasing the palms of the babus.

However, this menace can be tackled effectively, given the necessary will. The judiciary and the media can be the saviours of the common man. They can show and lead us to the path of good governance.

Efforts should be made to evolve an in-built administrative mechanism to tackle the evil of corruption. This should devise ways and means to achieve good governance, inter alia, through organising public debates and workshops from time to time.

MANJIT SINGH, Chandigarh

PAN problem

On July 1, 2003, the Income-Tax Department has authorised the Unit Trust of India to make Permanent Account Number (PAN) for the new assesses. The UTI has promised to despatch the PAN numbers within 15 days.

However, even after four months, the assessees have not received the same. PAN cards should be sent to the UTI agents directly so that they will have them delivered to the assessees.

Why are the authorities insisting on the house proof document or certificate? Some people have migrated and are unable to submit the same.

The Tatkal service has not yet been started by the company. The UTI should immediately release the list so that the assessees are relieved of avoidable hardslip.



Dharampur-Darlaghat rail link

THE Kalka-Shimla rail link completed a century of its existence this year. But we have not been able to construct any new railway line in the hills till date. No extension from Joginder Nagar or Shimla has ever been planned despite the availability of technical knowhow.

It is a pity that despite several assurances from successive governments, the Parwanoo-Kalka broad gauge line extension project has not come up. The need of the hour is to construct a new rail line from Dharampur to Darlaghat via Subathu. This will also facilitate the linking of Kangra with Shimla via Mandi. It has been a persistent demand of the Himachalis.

In fact, in the original draft of the Kalka-Shimla rail track (1842), this line was envisaged via Subathu but it was Bhalkhu who diverted the track to Kumarhatti from Dharampur because he was a native of Chail.

The Dharampur-Darlaghat rail link, if pursued with earnestness, will help transform the agrarian economy of the area besides providing better transport facilities to Subathu cantonment and the Dasla cement factory.



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