Improving rail services in Punjab

Apropos of the editorial Off the track (Sept 18), given the slow pace with which the Chandigarh-Morinda-Ludhiana project is marching, it seems the project would take a long time to complete.

In the absence of a direct rail service in Punjab linking Chandigarh, passengers from Kalka, Chandigarh and surrounding areas are put to great inconvenience as they are forced to go to Ambala Cantonment station to board trains for various destinations in Punjab.

The railways used to ply the Kalka-Amritsar Mail, withdrawn in 1998, which had stopovers at important stations like Chandigarh, Ambala Cantonment, Rajpura, Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna, Sahnewal, Ludhiana, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Beas and so on. Why was the train withdrawn is still a mystery.

Till the project is complete, the Railways should resume the train as an alternative. It would relieve hundreds of commuters to aforesaid destinations of a weary journey by bus. Will the Railway Minister, Chairman, Railway Board, and the General Manager, Northern Railway, please to listen to us and fulfil this long-pending demand?





There is no denying that we need to complete the Chandigarh-Morinda-Ludhiana railway track at the earliest. In this context, I would like to point out that although Ludhiana is linked to Delhi by three routes (via Panipat, Saharanpur and Jakhal), my son has to travel to and from Delhi every week by road only because 95 per cent seats of all long distance trains are reserved.

A common man is effectively debarred from travelling by any of these trains that run today, more than 100 years after Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a train at Pietermaritzburg railway station in South Africa.


Save oil: Onus on govt

Despite recent rise in the prices of crude oil by OPEC, there was hardly any reaction on the part of the consumers in our country because most consumers here belong to government and semi-government undertakings and the neo-rich class. They indulge in colossal wastage of oil at the cost of low-income groups who now find it hard to ply their scooters even for routine activities.

The economic power of a cartel to impose a monopoly price on its consumers is not unlimited because the forces of demand would immediately react as to compel the monopolists to enhance the supply and/ or to lower the price. However, it all depends on the consumer.

The solution lies in checking the consumption of oil by government and semi-government bodies rather than harassing the low-income groups.


Traffic signals

It occurred to me in 1997 that all traffic signals should display the time devices showing the duration of stoppage due to the red light and the duration of passage during green light. This could reduce air pollution on the roads and the crossings considerably. In this context, my letter in The Tribune regarding reducing air pollution was used in these columns on Sept 8, 1997.

After a gap of seven years, all important crossings in Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ludhiana are seen equipped with such devices displaying the duration of the halt. I have seen people at such crossings shutting off their engines and relaxing in between, keeping the air cleaner and saving on their fuel bill. A new habit has been added to their traffic habits. Who says, ideas don’t go far?


Purpose of education

Education illuminates the way to civilisation by removing ignorance. All the miraculous achievements of the world reflect sincere efforts of the enlightened souls. Education not only unfolds the unseen picture of the universe before our eyes but also quench our query regarding what, why, when, how and so on. It enables men and women to be solution-oriented and embrace calmness under all circumstances.

The outcome of this educational churning results in the production of intelligentsia to guide the humankind in all walks of life. Thus, everyone who aspires to be a teacher should realise the nobility of his/her profession and the challenges ahead. The teachers must awaken every soul by revealing the true nature of the ‘class’ (which, in its expanded form, is come, learn and serve society). Only this will plug the loopholes in our educational system and institutions.

Dept. of English,
Sohrab Public School,

Small savings prizes

Apropos of the news item (Sept 18), the Haryana government is giving small savings prizes in cash and not in kind. The Delhi government is also doing the same. I had written to the Director, Small Savings, (Punjab), Chandigarh, to start giving prizes of small savings in cash through cheque instead of in kind. It evoked little response.

Prizes in cash will be advantageous to both investors and to the government. On the one hand, it will save energy, time and money of the government. On the other, investors will be free to purchase anything of their choice or even reinvest their money in small savings.

I once again appeal to the authorities to give in cash through cheque.

Advocate, Ludhiana

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