Challenges must become an opportunity

I endorse the points raised by Subash K. Bijlani in his article “Marching together” (April 5 and 6) highlighting the need for the northern states to get together for nurturing higher and sustainable development for the entire region. The pitiable plight of industrial towns like Baddi in Himachal Pradesh is also true for such other towns like Barotiwala, Nalagarh and Paonta Sahib.

The reduction of socio-economic disparities among states (and even among different regions of a state) has been one of the most important objectives of the Indian economic policy in over five decades of the planned era.

But all the empirical studies reflect that disparities have increased among states in the post-reform era. However, the mere fact that states are growing at different rates should not be viewed as a failure of our economic policies so long as they are growing.

The states have realised that it is not the Centre which will invest in them but the private sector, domestic and foreign. There is a need for increasing not only competition but also the competitive strength of the states.



Amaryta Sen, in his latest book Freedom and Participation, also stresses that the northern India requires a farsighted and imaginative political leadership, growth facilitating bureaucracy, mass welfare oriented NGOs and informed citizens.

The liberalised and globalised free market environment provides both an opportunity and a challenge to the northern states. They should now maximise the advantage and convert the challenges into opportunities.

ABHISHEK JAIN, IAS, Assistant Commissioner (Development), Dharampur (HP)

Focus on e-governance

A recent report that 50 per cent of food for poor is pilfered before it reaches them fortifies the famous “15 paise remark” by the late Rajiv Gandhi. The only cure for this leakage is e-governance for which the World Bank has sanctioned $ 500 million for four years.

It is time the government — at the Centre and in the states — paid serious attention to e-governance from panchayats to the Centre for ensuring a transparent and corruption-free administration.

Dr B.L. TEKRIWAL, Mumbai


Power generation

Power is vital for industrial and economic growth. To ensure sufficient availability of power, private sector participation is necessary. Owing to financial crunch, we cannot depend on the states only.

Maharashtra has taken lead in this regard and had signed MoUs with private sector companies worth Rs 56, 000 crore for 12, 500 MW power generation with 50 per cent buy back arrangements. Power shortage and increasing demand of power can be met only with private sector participation.

Punjab should follow the same in a big way to overcome the power shortage and to meet the increasing demand for power. Punjab has purchased power worth Rs 2500 crore in the last years to meet the demand in which a power plant can be installed. For all round development, states should sign MoUs with private sector for power generation.

DEEPAK SARAF, MultiMate Steels, Rampura Phul

Dial 112

Recently I came to know that there is a separate emergency phone number “112” for mobile users. But whenever I dialled the same, the call ended. Also mobile service providers do not provide connectivity for the numbers 100, 101, 102, 131 and other toll-free numbers provided by the Government of India and respective state governments.

When there is an emergency, where will the mobile user go?

I request the authorities concerned to provide connectivity of number 112 or make it compulsory for all services providers to give connectivity to all government and emergency numbers toll free.


Bus shelter needed

Hundreds of commuters commute daily by buses from Badheri local bus stand to different destinations in Chandigarh. This is also a local inlet/outlet from Mohali to Chandigarh and vice versa. But there is no shelter at Badheri bus stop. As a result, people face great difficulty. They have to stand in the sizzling heat (or incessant rains).

The Residents’ Coordination Committee urge the authorities concerned to construct a pucca bus stand at Badheri so that people, particularly senior citizens, who board buses from this place, heave a sigh of relief.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Flouting guidelines

Furnishing of own or hired houses of 13 Punjab ministers at government expense is a clear violation of government guidelines (April 1). The Executive Engineer in charge of this work has lot to explain.

Equally at fault is the audit staff concerned. Why did they not carry out pre or post audit of the expenses and stop payment of the unauthorised bills to the tune of Rs 26.37 lakh? The government should recover this huge amount and take disciplinary action against the guilty.

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala Cantt


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