Musharraf will go by the Constitution

THE editorial “A military habit” (The Tribune, Sept 16) is not only way off the mark but also devoid of dignity in terms of choice of words. The Tribune has a rich tradition which I have no doubt you would like to maintain.

In a recent interview to the Washington Post, President Pervez Musharraf has reiterated that he has not made a final decision in this regard, and that he was “still looking at the pulse of the people”. He has also made it abundantly clear that he will act strictly in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan as amended through the 17th Constitution Amendment Bill which was passed by two-thirds majority including many from the Opposition benches.

Only recently, an opinion poll conducted by the PEW Research Institute in the USA said that 86 per cent people in Pakistan support the President. If the people of Pakistan feel that the President should keep the two offices and if he acts as per the Constitution, why should The Tribune get agitated? After all, is that not how business is conducted in a democracy?

RAI RIAZ HUSSAIN, Minister (Press), High Commission for Pakistan, New Delhi

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: letters@tribuneindia.com 



Bank strike

The All-India bank strike under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) seems to be a long-drawn battle for wage revision, which has become due from October, 2002. The nationalisation of banks reinforced their role in our planned economy. Strong and united trade union of bank employees gave a boost to the bankers’ status and played a positive role in all the settlements for wage revision.

Bankers’ job is risk-oriented. They will have to attract business under cut-throat competition. This is not the case with those in other government departments. Only bankmen can dare linking wages with profitability whereas state government employees get pay hike despite financial losses. Besides, they enjoy too many holidays in addition to Saturday. Clearly, bank employees should be given their due.


Solution to power crisis

Apropos of your report on power cuts in Punjab (Sept 9), it is true that electricity to the extent of 600 MW can be produced from the Ranjit Sagar Dam by constructing its sister project, i.e. the Shahpurkandi Dam Project (SDP) downstream. The SDP, a balancing reservoir, can supply controlled water through the SPK Hydel Channel and terminate near Madhopur Head Works after generating an additional 168 MW.

The Punjab government should implement its earlier decision of constructing the SDP departmentally, by making best use of the 8,500-surplus workmen and machinery worth Rs 150 crore. This won’t be an undue burden on the government.

The SDP has been cleared by the Department of Environment, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Planning Commission, Government of India, as far back as 1993. Had it been started in 1994-95, the project would have been completed by now. It will, certainly, help reduce power crisis to a great extent.

S.K. MITTAL, Beas Dam


Not off the track

This has reference to the editorial “Off the track” (Sept 18). The work of Chandigarh-Ludhiana new broad gauge rail link, a stretch of 112 km, has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 380 crore. In the first phase, the Chandigarh-Morinda Section (42 km) with an estimated cost of Rs 187 crore has been taken up.

Work relating to the construction of bridges and other works have commenced and are progressing in full swing. Issues relating to land acquisition and encroachments are being taken up with the respective state governments and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The project is envisaged to be completed within the targeted time by March 2005.

As regards electrification, we would like to clarify that whether to haul a train with a diesel engine or electric engine is a techno-commercial decision, and does not impact user experience. Currently, we will open with diesel traction, and further decision will be taken based on the traffic requirements.

Planning is also underway for the remaining portion of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link. Details of land requirements/ land acquisition between Morinda and Sahnewal is being worked out and the state government is being approached for the same.

DAVINDER P.S. SANDHU, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, New Delhi

Tackling terrorism

Everyone must condemn the killing of innocent school students of Belsan in Russia. International terrorism is the greatest threat to the mankind. The bloodshed in New York, Bali, Beslan and other countries including India is deplorable. September 11 reminds us that all countries should fight against international terrorism unitedly as was done during the Second World War in the fight against Nazism and Fascism.

We must wholeheartedly support the trio — Bush, Blair and John Howard. These are the leaders who can give a determined fight to international terrorism and stamp it out.

AMARJIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith, Australia

Liquor menace

The authorities are turning a blind eye to the open liquor vends operating from tin sheds located on the Amritsar-Mehta Road in village Chhapa Ram Singh. The liquor manufactured in various houses in the area is sold by the womenfolk of the village. This home-made liquor fails to meet the prescribed standards. All the samples taken have failed.

The residents are forced to live in the area as unwanted elements sit in the open and consume drinks. Women are unable to go out in the evenings. Police raids have failed to check the menace.

AMANDEEP KAUR, Nawanpind, Amritsar

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