Help states generate power

THE Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre is taking steps to reform the power sector. Yet, it is not thinking about the main aspect of this problem - power generation. We still have a shortfall of thousands of megawatts of power every month. If every state depends more and more on power generating companies like the NTPC, the NHPC and others, we would not be able to meet our power demand in the near future.

The only solution to this problem is to encourage the states with power generating resources to invest in power generation themselves as in Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh , West Bengal and Bihar. Barring Himachal Pradesh, floods occur in all the states at least once a year. As a result, the state governments tap energy for generating power.

Other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and even parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, which get lot of wind throughout the year, can also tap the still untapped source of energy.

The Centre should encourage companies to generate power through sunlight which is still not talked about in India. Power reforms would be helpful only when we have sufficient power. And this would be possible when the state governments enter the field of power generation.




Gas pipeline

Energy is one of the components to spur industrial development. The editorial "Gas pipeline again" reveals that an era of prosperity for many can be ushered in South Asia. If Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh somehow pulls this through, he can bring a revolution in the development process.

The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline will bring prosperity through abundant energy which can be converted to electric power, heating and cooking fuel and much more. I request the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister through The Tribune to consider the pipeline issue with an open mind.


Accident-prone road

THE increasing number of accidents resulting in the death of many people has made the Ambala-Kalka road a virtual death trap. It seems the most accident-prone stretches are around Dera Bassi, Lalru, Ambala and Panchkula. The most frequent cause for high accident figures is overspeeding by all types of vehicles. One sees even buses and trucks overtaking cars. The urge to overtake the front vehicle on not so wide a single road has taken many lives.

The four-laning of this road will take years. What is immediately needed is a simple step of laying down a speed limit of 50 kmph for all vehicles. This can be easily enforced by having a few check points at vulnerable spots as well as mobile patrols who should be ruthless in hauling up the speed thrillers.

It is hoped that the authorities concerned will pay due attention to such a routine measure and thus save hundreds of lives. Suffice it to mention, the speed checks have been very effective in drastically bringing down the accident rate in Delhi.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula



Promoting Urdu

Apropos of the editorial "Promoting Urdu" (June 9), the piece raises a very intelligent question: Why did the Urdu literate gentry not take the initiative of teaching voluntarily the language it wanted to save?

As a humble student of Urdu language, my submission is that Urdu is being taught free of cost at every district headquarters and Chandigarh since 1974 by the Department of Languages, Punjab. I have the proud privilege of having been associated with this as a part-time teacher since the inception of classes at Chandigarh.

My experience of over a quarter of century shows that a lot many students irrespective of caste, colour, creed or sex seek admissions in the beginning. On an average, a student can learn how to speak and read Urdu in three four months and then they decide to discontinue and, in the end, a few sit in the examination.

The reason behind this practice is very simple. Learning Urdu and passing the Standard VIII examination does not entitle one to get promotion in service or a special increment or a beautiful wife or husband. Unless a language is taught from primary class and can help earn livelihood, it will meet the same fate as Urdu.

One of my friends once wrote an Urdu couplet, which my peer English will translate like this: Termite is eating us day in and day out. Your fate is like that of Urdu books in the shelf.

Another close friend has been successfully taking out a biannual magazine titled "Urdu Alive" for the cause of propagation of Urdu language. What is needed is the patronage of the government as envisaged in the address of the President o Parliament.

Dr H.K. LALL, Chandigarh

Act not obsolete

With reference to the news-item “Gurdwara Act obsolete: Morcha” (June 9), the institution of the Sarbat Khalsa as the Sikh apex body was evolved during the Misl period to formulate strategy to oust the Moghuls from India and to coordinate internal Sikh affairs in the 18th century. The Sarbat Khalsa only chose Punj-Piaras for the executive committee to look after the day-to-day affairs and it did not appoint any jathedar as contended by Bhai Ranjit Singh and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi.

The term Jathedhar as now applied to the heads of the Takhts did not exist either during the Gurus' period or ever thereafter. Respected Sikhs were called Babas or Bhais; only heads of armed Jathas during the Misl period and un-armed jathas during the Akali Movement of 1920s were known as jathedars. The Takht jathedari practice only started the enactment of the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925, although this term is not even mentioned in the Act. This is an aberration of the Act by the SGPC.

The Act as such is not obsolete. However, election of the SGPC members by votes is against the Sikh tenet as it breeds corruption and nepotism. The government control over holding of elections and appointment of the Tribunal and Judicial Commission has lead to interference and legal battles which is not conducive to the efficient functioning of the SGPC and the intended spirit of the Gurdwara Act. Interference in religious affairs is also a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.

Brig. HARDIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

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