Rohtang: From romance to ruin

Apropos of Kuldeep Chauhan's dispatch "Tourists ruin Rohtang environment" (June 21). I had the (dis)pleasure of visiting Manali and Rohtang last year after a gap of 29 years. At that time these places were so fascinating that even an imaginary heaven could not look more attractive. Rohtang was an endless expanse of pure white snow, which in the sunshine shone like a mirror. There was only a small restaurant at Marhi and the present-day pollutants were unimaginable. The number of tourists who visited this place was rarely more than 100 a day even during the peak season. There were no ponies, sledges, make-shift stalls and speck of dirt in the whole area. The water of the Beas shone like silver at every point.

When I revisited these places last year I found crowds of people and vehicles polluting these places in every possible way. Littered with junk, the river looked ugly and its banks were stinking. It was nauseating to find these serene places polluted with endless noise, smoke and dirt. I rushed back to my home a disappointed person thinking about the man's callousness towards the environment.




Probe Kargil war

Apropos of the letter written by Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), titled "Kargil: Pranab must order a fresh probe" (June 21) on the role of Gen VP Malik, former COAS.

The general has raised some pertinent questions; there are many, many more which can only be answered if the Kargil war is independently investigated. Such an enquiry must co-opt some retired service officers with the required competence and impartiality. The nation needs to know the truth.

Brig SURINDER SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Flame of discord

Apropos of our editorial "Flame of Discord" (June 12), it is injustice done to every sportsman and sports loving person for keeping them away from the Olympics flame by the people who were managing the show in Delhi. Instead it was the mushrooming of "tamashbeens" comprising officials, actors, actresses and photographers which even blocked the open view of the Great Torch. This has been experienced as Olympics torture and not as Olympics torch.

I wonder such mistakes at the hands of organisers.


Need for cycling

It is sickening to read about fatal road accidents every day. The major cause is heavy traffic and overspeeding. We have to do something to reduce accidents and prevent loss of precious lives. As a first step, there is an immediate need to reduce the density of traffic on the roads. For that, I feel, we should resort to cycles as means of conveyance for short distances. Cycling will also benefit us in many other ways. Cycling is an excellent way to keep fit. People need not throng slimming centres and lose money and health (not fat). It is also environment friendly and will help in spreading the message of environment awareness.

The problem of parking gets reduced automatically. Cycling will ease the tension and relax people mentally as they will not be rushing or getting stuck in traffic jams. And when parents set an example, children will follow.

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Young leaders

The revival of the Congress is a part of the broader goal 'revival of India'. India is an emerging economy with plenty of promising indicators and some dark areas.

In fact, the economic model and economic indicators need a readjustment. We can't feel good with rising GDP, promising stock-markets, higher recognition internationally alone. We can no longer tolerate unemployment, illiteracy, deprivation from basic necessities, bureaucratic lethargy and corruption.

Infusion of young blood in Indian politics is a must. No longer can the Congress and India rely on fatigued leaders short of ideas, energy and initiative. Its time for young and dynamic leaders to come to the centre-stage. Experienced hands should guide and advice. Remember the transfer of power in China to the younger generation.

SAHIL VIJAY, Jalandhar

Not just low interest rates

THE decision of the UPA government for providing farmers with low-interest loans is not going to solve the problem of suicides by farmers in the long run. The main problem of the farmers is not loan but irrigation facilities and selling of their harvest at a good price. Even if you give farmers loans at 0 per cent interest and do not provide them with basic power and water supply for irrigation then they will not be able to repay even the principle amount, forget about the interest.

So, the UPA government is making the same mistake all over again by not doing anything constructive for the farmers. In Andhra, the Congress government has implemented the free-power-for-farmers scheme, but for that also you need power. Where is power?

If the farmers are provided with better irrigation facilities and a good price for their harvest, there is no way that farmers cannot repay their loans. Most of the time these farmers need money for health, education for their children, etc. The government should take care of small farmers, because those with more than six to eight acres usually make their ends meet, but the small farmers have the greatest problems.



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