Farmers take loan out of compulsion

According to the editorial “Damned by debt” (May 16), the main reason for the farmers’ debt is extravagant spending on non-essential things. However, I am afraid, this is not correct. Come to any village in Punjab and you will see most Punjabis finding it difficult to meet the basic necessities of life.

Farmers do not borrow loans from Arhtiyas out of choice but out of compulsion. The Punjab Agriculture Development Bank (PADB) is a den of corruption. You have to give a share of the loan to officers to get it. Also the loan procedure is cumbersome and time consuming. Illiterate farmers are fed up with the formalities and the number of times they are forced to visit the banks. What if the tubewell breaks during middle of the sowing season? The farmer has to go to Arhtiya to get speedy loan.

Cooperatives are no better. They miss no opportunity to sell fake fertilisers. As a result, the farmers are forced to buy high priced inputs from shops.





The editorial aptly examines the mismanaged economy in Indian agriculture system vis-à-vis the plight of farmers. Instead of blindly financing or subsidising the irresponsible and non-productive endeavours of farmers, it would be better if they are trained on the desired techniques through short-term courses free of cost.

A farmer who is considered the feeder of the nation ought to live up to this impression. In the absence of systematic and expert channelising in farming, undue subsidies and gestures like free electricity create heart burning among others. If farming should succeed in India, relevant education and training are more important than subsidies.

M.P.S. CHADHA, Chandigarh

No end to felling of trees

Over the years, Kasauli has been a victim of indiscriminate felling of trees even though it is a well protected Army and Air Force Cantonment. In May and June, the Kasauli hills are fire-prone due to the combustible nature of the fallen dry pine needles. The fires spread due to poor human management on the part of the villagers, the authorities and the elite villa and cottage owners.

In the past two weeks, a large number of “dead” trees have been felled. They are presently lying stacked up on the Upper and Lower Malls. Trees are declared “dead” peremptorily, cut and removed even though they are not “dead” and would have revived after rains in normal course. The latest case is the felling of a dozen trees following the complaint by a irresponsible citizen. These trees are still stacked below ‘The Mount’.

There is need for a thorough probe to fix responsibility on those (citizens and authorities) responsible for Kasauli’s murder of its precious tree cover.


Callous doctor

This has reference to Neelam Sharma’s report " 9-month-old baby’s arm amputated due to doctors’ ‘negligence’ " (May 14). It is sad that doctors demand more perks, privileges and constitutional rights but are careless towards patients. If the doctor cannot make a proper diagnosis or lacks medical knowledge, he should work under the direction of senior doctors till he is confident of himself.

The doctor should not have administering the wrong fluid to a 9-month-old baby. Even if he is found guilty and charge-sheeted, the child cannot get back his amputated hand. I have been in the Indian Navy and served in the Medical Department for 18 years. But I had never seen throughout my service a medical officer performing so casually.



How callous the doctors are! Sheer negligence on the part of doctors concerned resulted in the amputation of the little baby’s arm. One should reconcile had the incident took place in a dispensary in a remote area. But Sector 32 GMCH is a reputed institution.

The treatment given to the baby was very simple, yet a budding life was ruined. Spurious drugs are playing havoc with the health of the people which needs immediate check. The victim deserves at least Rs 5 lakh compensation.

KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi

Medical allowance

A fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month to be paid to MLAs and ex-MLAs, as proposed by Mr Hardev Arshi, ex-MLA, is not just as it is too meagre to meet the ever-increasing cost of medicare these days. It should be Rs 500 per month. Punjab employees and pensioners are also demanding a hike as they are being paid Rs 250 per month for over seven years.

Reimbursement of expenses incurred on treatment of chronic diseases may be allowed to MLAs and ex-MLAs. However, the present practice of reimbursement (outdoor treatment) pertaining to MLAs, ex-MLAs and their dependents should be discarded.



I support Satpal Dang’s views (May 19). His apprehension regarding misuse of the facility is right. He has given his own and Mr Hardev Arshi’s examples for not claming the reimbursement. I too can make a similar claim that I and my wife have been suffering for the last three years and using various medicines, but I never claimed reimbursement.

The fixed monthly medical allowance for MLA and ex-MLAs should be Rs 800 or 1,000. I will submit a proposal to the Vidhan Sabha and I do hope this would be accepted. I also appreciate the initiative of Mr Hardev Arshi, ex-MLA, in this regard.

SOHAN SINGH BODAL, Ex-MLA, Bodal (Hoshiarpur)


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