Towards a new, resurgent Punjab

There is an urgent need to building a new, resurgent Punjab. It should avail itself of the tax holiday announced by the government as a New Year gift. What change can this bring to the state is evident from the buzzing industrial activity in Parwanoo, Nalagarh and Baddi. Mohali can be another Gurgaon and Patiala can be another Gurgaon.

Patiala can be another Bangalore if this much-needed boost is provided to the industrial sector of this agrarian state. In addition to industrial uplift, other benefits may flow in. Infrastructure development may intensify, the IT sector may flourish and multiplexes may replace the old and worn-out theatres. Tourism too may reap its share of benefits.

Two related aspects will, however, need to be emphasised: power and industrial safety. With a rise in industrial activity, Punjab will have to look for more thermal, hydel, gas-based and even nuclear power plants in addition to the captive power plants that the industry may set up. The PSEB has a team of engineers who once commissioned a 210 MW thermal unit in just 34 months as against the normal time period of 42 months and made the Germans visit the state to study their way of working.

Punjab has a micro hydel potential of 150 MW which can be jointly harnessed by the PSEB, the PEDA and the BBMB to make available cheap and eco-friendly power. Tax holiday cover may bring a boom in the IT, electronics and computer sectors. It is time for various technical education institutes to upgrade their institutes, provide quality education and ensure employment for the engineers produced by them.

Er JANVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh



The story of failure

Noted agriculture expert Dr S.S. Johl has the knack of presenting a tale of defeat as a story of success. It is evident from his article “Punjab success story: Not by money alone” (Jan 21). But what if Punjab accommodates nearly 30 lakh migratory workers and their families who send more than Rs 3,500 crore annually to their home states, when our boys and girls do not have dignity for labour? What if Punjab produces 10 million tonnes of rice and 20 million tonnes of food grains for the Central Pool if its own farmers do not get minimum support price in proportion to their labour and financial investment and are being forced to commit suicide?

Dr Johl calls it is a good management skill used in the production system and in the growth and development. Why does he not evaluate the efficacy of the skill in general administration, education, health, electricity and water boards where the management has miserably failed? Once the most prosperous state, Punjab’s growth rate has gone down to 1.2 per cent mark.

Why Punjabis’ skill does not help increase employment, enhance work efficiency, reduce crime, contain corruption and ensure quality education? The story of Punjab is the story of failure, distress and disappointment and not success as maintained by Dr Johl. In fact, experts in administration, agriculture and sociology should come forward to evaluate the working of Punjab polity and make suggestions to revamp the management techniques so that the state’s economy is put back on the rails and services like health, education, justice, employment begin to look up.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

Shops or schools?

Despite the best efforts of the chairman of the H.P. School Education Board, Mr B.R. Rahi and the then Education Minister Asha Kumari, many private schools affiliated to the H.P. School Education Board are violating the rules.

Such private schools, mostly in Jawali subdivision, are exploiting the trained graduates and postgraduates by paying them a poor salary. They are also violating the time table and the vacation schedule of the Board. In many private schools, teaching is done through help books and not textbooks prescribed by the Board. They charge a very huge fee and from the students.

Some schools do not have playground, audio-visual aids for teaching and toilets. There is also no NCC or NSS training. Government institutions are working better than these shop-like private schools. Surprise checks by Mr Rahi and other senior officers may help unearth many more loopholes in the private schools.

VIKAS DOGRA, Nagrota Surian (Kangra)

PM’s initiative is welcome

The news-item “PM orders 3 per cent quota for disabled in Civil Services” (Jan 24) is welcome. It will go a long way in providing ample and equal job opportunities to physically challenged persons. This initiative should have been taken much earlier.

It is a clear signal that merit alone matters. All right-thinking people would support this move aimed at removing the sense of inferiority among those with physical disability and assuring them of equal opportunities based on their merit.

Rising above narrow considerations of religion and party vote banks, the Centre should extend the benefit of reservation to people purely on the basis of merit and not on caste and creed. It should provide financial assistance to the needy among the meritorious ones. It will promote healthy competition among the competitors.

N.K. GOSAIN, Bathinda


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