Need for early completion of poll process

Under the Constitution, the Election Commission has been assigned the duty of conducting free and fair elections. The entire state machinery is thus brought under its control to help complete the process.

However, lately, the commission has come in for sharp criticism for taking an unduly long time in conducting the elections and announcing the results. This time, for the elections in Haryana, Bihar and Jharkhand, it is taking full 25 days. The results of the Haryana Assembly elections will be announced only on February 27.

This is ridiculous for two reasons. First, the developmental and administrative work will remain standstill for 25 days. Secondly, the announcement of results two days after the elections would not vitiate the minds of voters in far away states, particularly after the results of the exit polls. It is time the Centre or the Supreme Court set a deadline of a minimum timeframe for completing the entire poll process by the Election Commission.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd), (Public Health), Panchkula




The Chief Election Commissioner has long been issuing warnings against some candidates’ attempt to mix politics with religion and politicising enquiry reports. The use of the Banerjee report on the Godhra train accident by Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav amounts to a breach of the electoral model code of conduct. A tough action by the CEC would go a long way in checking this indiscipline.

Prof P. K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Recruit lecturers

Over 750 posts of lecturer are lying vacant in Punjab’s government colleges. There has been no recruitment of lecturers for many years. As many as 392 lecturers in various subjects were selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission for government colleges in February-March, 2002. But later, the government cancelled the selection. This was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The state government has failed to produce any specific reason or proof of irregularities committed in the selection, as it was alleged.

As there is no concrete evidence of irregularities in the selection, the government should withdraw the cancellation orders and issue appointment letters to the selected candidates as lecturers.


A corruption-free society

Apropos of Gobind Thukral’s article, “Change must touch common Indian: K.R. Narayanan pleads for corruption-free regime” (Jan 25), the former President’s meritorious achievements have had a profound impact on the people and the youth. There is no dearth of eminent people among the downtrodden and minorities. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Giani Zail Singh and Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam have all excelled in public life. Great Gurus and saints like Swami Balmiki, Lord Hanuman, Bharat Vyas, Guru Ravidass, Sant Kabir, and Sant Nam Dev have also enlightened society with their noble ideas and preachings.

Mr Narayanan has pleaded for a corruption-free regime on the lines of Mr H.K. Dua’s opinion to keep politics free from corruption, criminalisation and casteism. According to Mr Narayanan, the fruits of development must reach the common Indian. This, according to him, would be possible only if we adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law and provide equality of opportunities to all. The people, the politicians and the bureaucracy should rise to the occasion to end corruption, criminalisation of politics and casteism.

HARBANS LAL MEHMI, Special Secretary to Transport Minister, (Punjab), Chandigarh


Silt in Sukhna

The Sukhna lake in Chandigarh was conceived for providing recreation. However, from day one, its bed started rising due to silting. By now it has lost two-thirds of its capacity. Over 40 years fight against the silt, it has this lesson for its engineers: silt is like cancer, do not waste money on trying to control it by removing it with draglines. Its remedy lies in preventing its very entry into the lake.

Based on this, a foolproof scheme costing Rs 50 lakh for filling the lake only with desilted water was sent to the Union Territory Administration about a year ago. Later, the Institution of Engineers, Chandigarh, recommended to the Government its adoption. It also wanted the government to make the scheme transparent by displaying its model on the lake to the general public.

Unless this scheme is executed before the next rainy season, the lake is bound to have yet another dose of its annual silt deposit. This will be unbearable for its very meager balance capacity, which must be saved at any cost. A lake is a priceless possession and we must preserve it for the coming generations. The government has nothing to lose. It has everything to gain if it makes public its long-term plan for saving the lake.

S.P. MALHOTRA, Engineer-in-Chief (retd), (Irrigation, Haryana), Panchkula

Modernise POs

The workload on post offices has increased manifold due to the introduction of various schemes. Their clientele is also substantial due to higher rates of interest, tax rebates and incentives offered. They are specially popular amongst retired and senior citizens.

However, their staffing and mode of working have not been reviewed to match with the existing workload. The systems are outdated in most post offices. No modernisation in tune with the changing times.

It takes a lot of time and jostling to get a transaction done due to heavy rush and slow processing. With the addition of collection of phone and power bills, though convenient to the public, the problem has become all the more pronounced. There is, therefore, an immediate need to modernise all the post offices to ease the workload on the existing staff.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali

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