Punjab must pay attention to HRD

APROPOS of P.P.S. Gill’s article “Mobilise resources or decay” (April 22), the Punjab government has not sanctioned even a paise to colleges and posts created after November 1, 1981. Sadly, the University Grants Commission’s committed expenditure (Centre’s share) to the tune of crores of rupees for these colleges as a package of pay revision from January 1, 1996 has not been released by the Punjab government.

The government had agreed to release Rs 72 crore to non-government colleges for 2003-2004 as 95 per cent grant-in-aid. Thousands of teaching and non-teaching employees of 145 colleges were expecting the release of the last instalment of Rs 16 crore on March 31. But the government has betrayed the teaching community.

Though developed countries spend adequate funds even on dropouts to bring them to the mainstream, we don’t help them, not to speak of deserving students. No state can claim development-oriented if it aims to destroy the existing structures of human resource development.



I request Dr S.S. Johl, Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Planning Board, to advise the state government to plug the loopholes in liquor auction, sales tax and income-tax. Austerity in the unproductive expenditure and efficient tax collection are the need of the hour.

R.S. BRAR, Raekot (Ludhiana)

Tax benefit

Apropos of the query of Mr S.K. Grover and Mr S.G. Vasudeva’s response in his column “Tax Advice” (April 19), he will be entitled to benefit under Section 88 B even for the financial year 2003-04 because on the last day of the financial year 2003-04, he will be 65 years of age if he was born on April 1. Even if one qualifies for any benefit on the last day of the financial year, one is entitled to the benefit for the whole year.

P.K. SACHDEVA, Advocate, Karnal

Sports merit quota

I am happy to know that Panjab University has decided to recognise CBSE tournaments for purposes of admission in its university sports merit quota. I hopw other universities will follow the footsteps of Panjab University to help CBSE merit holders of different games.

P.D. THAWARIA, Naya Nangal

Tariff bias in Shimla suburbs

THE Municipal Corporation, Shimla, supplies water to Shimla’s suburbs like Kasumpti, Dhalli and Totu which are outside its jurisdiction. It levies water tariff at commercial rates even for domestic connections in these areas. For instance, the rates being charged for these areas is Rs 15 per 1,000 litres up to the consumption of initial 30,000 litres of water as against Rs 3.50 being charged for 1,000 litres for areas within the municipal jurisdiction for the initial 30,000 litres.

These areas earlier formed part of the Shimla Municipal Corporation, but were excluded during the Prem Kumar Dhumal government’s tenure. As there is no representation of these areas in the Municipal Corporation, It is charging higher rates from the residents most of whom are senior citizens. Will the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh intervene and stop this discrimination forthwith?



Politics of the rich

By going through the revelations regarding assets of various politicians, there is a general impression that politicians are born with gold (not silver) spoons in their mouths. While the assets they reveal would only be a tip of the iceberg, it is clear that it is only the rich and affluent sections of society who enter politics. A close look at the assets declared by the candidates, it seems almost every politician in this country is rich.


Emulate the West

This has reference to V.I.K. Sharma’s letter “Worthy of emulation” (April 9), wherein he has stated that his neighbour in Shimla always carried a polythene bag containing soil or sand when he took his dog for a morning walk. He writes about the practice being followed in foreign countries — covering the excreta with the soil or sand. True, we never do this. I have seen many times educated people spitting and blowing their noses in the middle of the road, while walking. This too becomes a nauseating experience for the morning joggers.

We may be highly educated and holding very high positions. But we will become a civilised nation only when we emulate the West.

R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra

No pension

The pensioners of the Haryana Urban Development Department were being paid pension through the Director, Urban Development, Haryana, Chandigarh. After January 2004, pension has not been disbursed on grounds of paucity of funds. Where will the poor pensioners go now? Most of them are sick and are forced to take life-saving drugs. The government should resolve the problem expeditiously and save us from hardship.


Incorrect report

This has reference to the news-item headlined “German student sexually assaulted?” (The Tribune, April 12) regarding the alleged molestation of a German girl by fellow students of The Lawrence School, Sanawar. The report is incorrect and is a figment of the imagination of your correspondent. It has done irreparable harm to the image and reputation of the school fraternity.

PROF GAUTAM CHATTERJEE, Headmaster, The Lawrence School, Sanawar

The news-item was published in good faith and it was never intended to harm the good reputation of The Lawrence School.

— Editor

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