Need to help the informal sector

In his article “Plan for informal sector” (March 15), Mr L.S.M. Salins has rightly stressed the need to strengthen the informal sector. The unorganised and weak sectors of populace deserve all help.

People like rickshaw pullers, tangawalas, pheriwalas, shoeshine boy, blacksmith, domestic servants, servants at hotels/dhabas contribute significantly to the GDP. They are a lesser burden on the public exchequer since they neither demand nor are they taken into account while providing for infrastructure facilities. They are God’s lesser children who do not line up at the employment exchange or disturb societal peace.

The informal sector helps the government in two ways. One, it does not make demands on the government. And two, it eases the problems of the lower middle classes and the poor. Unsung are the entrepreneurs who sell fruits, fruit juices, sugarcane, groundnuts etc. They do all the odd jobs and are quick to adopt and adapt to the changing needs of their clients with the change in the season. To achieve the goals of an egalitarian state, the government should address their problems. They should be made an integral process of urban town planning.

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During the British period, there were rain shelters for the rickshaw pullers. In hill stations, there were spaces and stops for the horses and tanga pullers. Since hawkers and others are an integral part of society, their health, education, housing and sanitation should be taken care of.

This sector consists of floating population as well as permanent settlers. Even settlers migrate to their villages after retirement. This has to be factored in planning.

V.K. GUPTA, Joint Director-General of Foreign Trade, GOI,Ludhiana

Repair the roads

The road connecting Kartarpur-Alawalpur is completely worn out. Early repair will give us many benefits. The distance between Kartarpur and Adampur will be reduced as one can avoid Jalandhar. It would also reduce vehicular traffic on GT road and thus ease congestion. It will also improve the economy of the villagers residing alongside the road.

Similarly, the road connecting Adampur-Kotfatuhi aligned along the canal is also in a deplorable condition. If it is made roadworthy, it will help the people of the region immensely.


Polluted drains

This has reference to the editorial “Right to clean air and water” (March 21). The 16 districts of Haryana identified by the Central Ground Water Board have a vast drainage network. Effluent discharges from industries, pharmaceutical units, paper mills, milk plants, distilleries and sewage etc. are passed into the drain. Penetration of toxic water into subsoil has contaminated the portable water.

This led to widespread salinity and waterlogging in some parts of the districts. Water in drains is highly toxic and underground water is brackish in saline areas. Drains are also emitting poisonous gases and polluting the environment at an alarming rate.


Animal science varsity

The Punjab government took the initiative to establish a veterinary university at Ludhiana. In the Governor’s address to the State Assembly, mention was made and, subsequently, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the university has indeed been established at Ludhiana to achieve the objective of diversification of agriculture.

The Finance Minister has allocated Rs 4 crore for this university. The Cabinet has given approval for development and research by animal science university. Where is this veterinary university after all?


Bitter experience

The railway authorities should avoid inconvenience to the passengers. I boarded a passenger train from Dhariwal recently for Pathankot. It arrived at Dhariwal at 8.30 am, one hour late. It took two-and-a-half hours to reach Pathankot, much to the discomfiture of the passengers. It halted for about one hour between Sarna and Bharoli for reasons best known to the authorities.

Such delays cause immense hardship to the poor and middle class families. Why cannot the authorities ensure punctuality of trains?


Befitting tribute to Kairon

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has taken up a laudable step by unveiling the portrait of the late Sardar Partap Singh Kairon in the main lounge of the Punjab Assembly (March 19). Kairon was the Iron Man of Punjab — a hero, martyr, able administrator and leader of the masses who had depth and foresight in every sphere of governance.

Towns like Gurgaon, Faridabad, handloom industries in Panipat, Verka milk plants are all his endeavours. Jawaharlal Nehru always appreciated Kairon’s progressive views in handling difficult situations just as the Chinese aggression in 1962. His era is still remembered in Punjab and Haryana with love and deep reverence.

K.P. SINGH, Ghungrana (Ludhiana)


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