Arresting urban decay

Jagmohan’s article “Tragedy of Urban India” (Dec 16) refers to the case of Vishwas Nagar Colony in Delhi where 12 people were burnt alive on December 7 in a fire in an illegally run factory. It typifies how illegal structures, rooted in political and bureaucratic corruption, were sought to be regularised by changing the land use from residential to industrial on the ground that 70 per cent of the units were being used as factories.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court, having voiced concern on Vishwas Nagar, had ordered that all illegal factories operating in the residential areas should be closed down within a time framework. The time limit for various categories is over. Yet, the illegal industries are functioning as is evident from the fire tragedy of Vishwas Nagar. Surprisingly, the judgement has been ignored.

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief


From the viewpoint of the Town Planning and Delhi Master Plan, industries should not be located in the residential areas. Noise and air pollution causes environmental nuisance in the residential areas. The proper approach of planning should be on the basis of the guidelines of the Master Plan and the legal measures of control.



To improve the quality of life in towns and cities, the new Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is not sufficient. There is need for sincere efforts by the three-tiers of government besides the people.

The urban economy cannot be strengthened at the cost of rural development. The basic problems of housing, slums and pollution in urban areas can be resolved by reversing the exodus of migration from urban to rural areas through the Central scheme, Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) .

The National Steering Group for JNNURM should discharge its duty with honesty. To assess the implementation of the reform agenda, monitoring and evaluation, preferably by academic institutions free from political bias and pressures, are a must.

Prof M.M. GOEL, Kurukshetra

Dignity of law profession

I read the editorial “Grooming lawyers” (Dec 21). No doubt, the promotion of legal education at an early stage is appreciable, but discouragement of legal education after graduation will shut the door to many committed fellows.

Clearly, the lawyers of yesteryears perused legal profession after their graduation as the five-year law course is a novel concept. These lawyers mortgaged their heart and soul to excel in the profession and carved out a niche for themselves in the legal profession.

Earlier, the bright and talented people opted for law as a career by sacrificing other lucrative options. They never treated law as a second-rate profession. The hard fact is that after graduation, the mental faculty of the student reflects more maturity and with its proper application, he/she embraces the career of his choice.

KAPIL MOHAN GAUTAM, Advocate, Shimla

Shortage of judges

Chief Justice D.K. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that the sanctioned strength of the judges in this court is 53 but at present the working strength is only 29 including himself. Thus, there is a total shortage of 24 judges. The names of seven advocates, four from Punjab and three from Haryana, are being recommended to the Law Ministry. What about the remaining 17 vacancies?

Why cannot the Punjab and Haryana governments promote senior District Sessions Judges and recommend their elevation to the High Court to fill up the vacancies?

Lt-Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Of latecomers

Don’t ask what your institution has done for you; ask what you have done for the institution. This applies to those who always clamour for a raise in the salary for doing nothing. They are regularly irregular. They cannot be punctual because old habits die hard.

Even if we reach the office on time, we don’t do any work while the poster ‘work is worship’ looks down at us from the wall. The reason: we Indians do not work unless there is the fear of the danda. Apparently, we fear and respect danda. So why not give it divine’s status and call it danda devta?

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)

Strictly on merit

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been maintaining that the teaching faculty in Haryana at all levels would be recruited purely on merit. If the policy is implemented in letter and spirit, he would be doing a great service to the cause of education in the state.

Marks set aside for the interview (25 per cent) for the selection of college teachers, currently underway, need to be apportioned objectively. Otherwise, the very objective of ensuring fair selection would be defeated.

Prof L.N. DAHIYA, Rohtak

PMET overhaul

The proposal to overhaul the PMET is welcome. If implemented, it would help students aspiring to seek admission in the medical colleges. It would check the mushrooming of private coaching centres who squeeze students and parents with hefty fees. Thus, the PMET would lessen the burden of both the students and parents.

It would have been most appropriate to have PMET abolished altogether. The student’s merit of matric as well as +2 classes could be taken into consideration for purposes of admission.


Tackling drug abuse

Punjab Director-General of Police S.S. Virk said recently that a multi-pronged strategy has been evolved to tackle the drug menace. A couple of months ago, PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo revealed that annually narcotics worth about Rs 5,000 crore were being sold in Punjab and there was a drug sale centre in every sub-division. Mr Dullo admitted that at times, politicians came to the rescue of the drug peddlers, when caught by the police. The menace is, therefore, quite gigantic.

The DGP will earn the goodwill of the people if he saves their sons from falling a prey to drug addiction. Allama Iqbal has said: Nasha pila key giraana to sab ko aata hai/ Maza to jab hai ke girton ko thaam ley saaqi.



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