THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Nation in safe hands

This has reference to the editorial "The Nation is in safe hands" by H.K. Dua (May 20). Mrs Sonia Gandhi, by refusing to accept Prime Ministership and making Dr Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister-designate, has not only demonstrated the qualities of statesmanship but has also helped to get the country out of a difficult situation.

The BJP lost at the hustings due to the deliberate and persistent arrogant and irresponsible utterances of Mr Narendra Modi and others. When several alliance partners were leaving the NDA, no effort was made to remove their grievances and keep them with the NDA. All this has made the BJP bite the dust.

Major NARINDER SINGH (retd) JALLO, Mohali

Shimla woes

Power hungry politicians have always exploited the masses. They convince people of adequate supply of water electricity, health and sanitation. They mainly focus on the development of remote villages. Once the elections are over, these leaderís promises disappear. People see the grim reality and realise that they have been duped.

Consider the problems of water and electricity cuts being faced by the residents of Shimla. The scorching sun during the summers adds to the tale of endless woe. People cannot maintain hygiene, wash clothes, cook food properly, wash utensils and do not have enough water to drink.

The problems do not end here. There are pockets of a "wealthy few" who own godowns of hardware goods. Many trucks of materials such as cement are loaded and unloaded in the area. This causes inconvenience to the residents as the work goes on even at night. Bags of white cement cause a lot of pollution. One can find layers of while cement settled in the house and outside. People with or without respiratory problems like asthma find it difficult to step out of their houses. When will the authorities intervene?

DIMPLE KATOCH, New Shimla

 

 

Broken-down buses

Punjab, a once-prosperous state, is facing financial hardships now. It is lagging behind in every field, including Punjab Roadways. Some of Punjab Roadways buses, as old as 20 years, are still on road. They are in such condition that they break down every other day, putting the passengers to great inconvenience.

Due to bad condition and poor services by Punjab Roadways, private company buses rule the roost in the state. The Roadways has very few buses in its fleet.

Successive governments in Punjab have done nothing to bring in new buses. The state has over the years been continuing to make do with old buses. Why haven't they bought new buses all these years? Why are private bus companies thriving? Why are they bent on pushing the roadways into private hands? Clearly, they want to make a quick buck.

If the government doesn't wake up to the seriousness of the situation being faced by the Roadways, its extinction will be impossible to check. Punjab should learn something from Haryana Roadways' rags-to-riches story: it has, now, a mammoth fleet of over 10,000 buses with a majority of them in good condition.

RAJ KUMAR, Chandigarh

Using solar energy

Solar energy is available in abundance for about eight to nine months in a year in major part of our country. If tapped properly, solar energy can do wonders for our people and country. It can save our forests from degradation and protect our environment from pollution. It can also reduce our oil imports to some extent.

A majority of our people cook food with firewood, cow dung and kerosene. Use of these materials for cooking has an adverse effect on our forests, environment and the health of our people in general and those cooking food in particular.

I will suggest use of solar cookers for cooking at mass scale. Our government, both at the Centre and in the states, will do a great service to our poor people and our country if it provides a solar cooker to every family living below poverty line at subsidised rates.

Col D.S. DHALIWAL (retd), Patiala

Bhagat Puran Singh

The decision of GND University to set up a Chair in memory of Bhagat Puran Singh (May 9) is laudable. I suggest that in implementing the decision of the Syndicate to set up the Bhagat Puran Singh Chair, the Pingalwara Society of Amritsar should not be burdened with grant of Rs 25 lakh.

The assets of the society were built with herculean efforts and single-minded devotion by Bhagat Puran Singh and, today, we find hundreds of collecting agents for donations coming from all parts of India.

Let these valuable assets remain with the society for its development in the cause of service to the suffering humanity and deprived sections of the population.

K. L. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh

Calculating inflation

The calculation of inflation in India requires immediate attention of the new government. To understand, analyse and interpret inflation, we strongly advocate a change in methodology for calculating the rate of inflation, which is deceptive. The mockery of calculating annual inflation rate every week is based on faulty methodology and is calculated on Wholesale Price Index (WPI). The consumer, of course, purchases goods on retail prices, which should be the basis for calculating the rate of inflation. The expected rise in prices of petroleum products is certainly going to affect the common man adversely when he purchases a commodity in the market on the retail price. Stability in prices is required for the growth of the Indian economy.

MAYANK GOEL & Prof M.M. GOEL, Kurukshetra

Missing voters

Apropos of the editorial "Missing Voters", it is not only the officials' callousness in the revision of electoral rolls which deprived many of their right to franchise but also their lackadaisical attitude towards the electoral process. At most of the polling booths, voters' identity cards were not checked and, as a consequence, it was free-for-all casting of bogus votes, thus making a mockery of the world's biggest democracy.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

II

It is a source of disappointment and mental agony for many eligible voters to find their names deleted from the votersí lists for reasons best known to the authorities that be. This has been happening for the past many decades.

To end this menace the government and the Election Commission should declare it mandatory to publish a public notice listing the voters' names intended to be deleted and the reasons for the same. An eligible voter should be allowed to represent against such unwarranted deletion.

There should be a provision to file a complaint in a court of law with a specified punishment against such undemocratic action by officials of a democratic country.

Dr BHOLLA SINGH SIDHU, Amritsar
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