Dwindling forest cover in Punjab

There is hardly 8 per cent forest cover in Punjab even though it should have been 33 per cent as per the National Forest Policy. Reports say, railway land is being handed over to the Punjab Forest Department. However, if this is again taken back by the railways, how will the afforestation project succeed? To the extent possible, the government should include such areas under the Japan-Aided afforestation protect.

Secondly, some areas across the Rajasthan canal, which passes through Punjab, can also be used for afforestation. It will provide employment to local people.

S.K. CHAWLA, Kotkapura

Welcome step

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has done a commendable job in raising the monthly bravery awards to the defence personnel and their widows. It will help raise the morale of the soldiers and motivate them to fight the enemy better.

There has also been a hike in the monthly bravery pension in case of Old Victoria Cross and the present equivalent Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra as also in all other subsequent bravery awards. The Chief Minister had earlier granted huge lump sum grants for such awardees. All this was needed.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali



Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



Evaluation of papers

In the letter “Varsity’s funny logic” (May 17), Dr Susheel says that, “ad hoc lecturers who have taught for the whole year, evaluated answer books for house examinations and perform invigilation” work are good enough to act as examiners. House and university examinations are two different matters. Similarly, evaluation and invigilation are different propositions. The lecturers working on ad hoc basis, with or without experience, may be appointed invigilators but not as evaluators.

In the book, “Examination in Higher Education”, edited by Dr Amrik Singh, it is mentioned that examinership should not be “looked upon by the universities as non-technical business. An examiner should be conversant with the technique of assessment. He must be thoroughly acquainted with the course contents of the subject…” This suggests that experienced teachers alone should be appointed as examiners for evaluation.


Railway counter

There is dire need of a railway booking reservation counter at Jawan Wala Shahar railway station on Pathankot - Joginder Nagar railway line. Many Army personnel and others who wish to travel to various cities of the country fail to get reserved accommodation in mail and express trains. The booking counters at Dharamshala, Palampur and Jawalamukhi railway stations do not serve the purpose.


Bowing to pressure

Vigilance Commissioner P. Shankar has conceded recently that the CBI is amenable to political pressure. Shouldn’t we, therefore, cut the crap (as the Americans would put it) and rename the organisation as the Controlled (or Committed!) Bureau of Investigation?


Bad road

The road between Baba Bakala and Mehta Chowk in Amritsar district is full of deep and large potholes. Most vehicles get damaged and accidents have become common. This portion of the road has neither been repaired nor resurfaced/ recarpeted during the last five years. I request the authorities concerned to set right the damage promptly.

J.S. JASPAL, Jalandhar City

PCOs overcharge

During a recent visit to Punjab, I found that the PCO/STD owners were overcharging customers. Every paisa is rounded off to the next higher which is unfair. It has become a daily practice with them since most customers do not bother to ask for the bill. At some places, the rounding off is justified in view of the non-availability of the coins of the required denomination.

The telecom authorities should look into complaints of overcharging and take remedial measures to stem this fleecing trend.


Issue in question

The Punjab Agricultural University has remained an efficient scientific farm recommendations’ plant. What it needed is an equally efficient and sizeable organisation to implement the recommendations to help the stake holders.

Let the target beneficiaries answer ‘whether it happened’! There is undoubtedly ample stock of recommendations (breeds, feeding, health care, milking, preservation, etc) in animal sciences, but how and where these are to flow out is the real issue. There is need for a veterinary university, but work culture and accountability must improve in PAU.


DA on Central pattern

The Punjab Government has enhanced dearness allowance for its employees from January 1, 2005, from 14 per cent to 17 percent on the Central pattern. But this benefit has not yet been given to pensioners who had rendered yeoman service to the state. The government should extend the benefit to its pensioners promptly.

SAT PAUL, Chandigarh

Professional tax

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Veerbhadra Singh has said that the money raised from professional tax will be spent on the welfare of the poor. But the State Assembly has increased the salary and perks of its members. Why did the government do this when the state’s finances are in doldrums?


Tackling dowry

I endorse Prof Parveen Rana’s view (Letters, May 23) that a mass movement against the social evil of dowry is needed. His suggestion that the younger generation should come forward and honestly pledge not to accept dowry is also correct. Above all, development of a spiritual outlook, particularly among the youth, will play a vital role in curbing the dowry menace.



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