Cargo service:
Railways must
change rules

The Indian Railways has restricted the direct cargo service to a few stations. The existing rules adversely affect the interests of small enterprises located in small stations. A case in point is Derabassi, Punjab’s developing industrial hub, tipped to be a next Gurgaon. Industrial goods can neither be booked from Ghaghar Railway Station (it is the name of Derabassi railway station) nor industrial units can receive their main inputs as no train starts from Ghaghar or have a five-minute halt. This is forcing industrial enterprises to depend upon road transport, which is much costlier than railway.

The facility of transporting goods from any station to any station was withdrawn two years back as a temporary measure, with the promise that it will be restored after getting the backlog cleared. Recently, I received an order from Ranchi. Transportation by railway train will be easy and economical, but there is no train for Ranchi from Ghaghar. Taking the goods to Ambala Cantonment is impractical. I appeal to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to launch a scheme which may enable a person/ small entrepreneur to book cargo from any station to any station in India.

NEELA SOOD, Derabassi (Patiala)


US shows the way

This is in response to Suraj K. Kapoor’s letter “The burden of school bag” (June 17). If there is a problem, there has to be a solution. The problem of children carrying heavy school bags in India can be solved by simply following the American way.

In the US, a school student is not required to purchase any book of his/her own. Nor his/her school bag carries more than a few notebooks and a few pencils. Here is how it works. Depending upon the strength of students enrolled, a school is required to keep enough books in its library and, in turn, charges a rental fee annually from the students for using them.

This is like hitting three birds with one stone. First, the parents don’t have to spend sizeable money to buy books each year. Secondly, the students don’t have to carry them back and forth as they have ready access to books, where they need them. And finally, the same books are in use year after year. A student can also bring any book(s) home to do his/her homework. The rental fee is at least one-tenth of the actual cost of books which can be waived off if the parents qualify.

In fact, a few reputed public schools in India have already implemented this system to ease the burden on the students, especially at the kindergarten and junior school level.


We care for you

My recent experience with the Traffic Police in Chandigarh may be of some interest to the readers. Not being able to find any place in the parking lot outside ICICI and HS Bank in Sector 9, I placed my car on the inside road next to two/three others.

On return, a sticker on the windscreen detailed my offence and directed me to appear before a DSP at the TP Lines in Sector 29. Two redeeming features announced in bold type on the sticker were heartening. One, the payment of the compounding fee “can be made by cheque at Neelam Police Post Sector 17,”. And two, for help one “can dial 1073 (Traffic Help Line)”.

Sadly, the telephone number appears to be non-existent as does the facility for depositing the compounding fee! In the event, the much-harassed motorist perforce must go all the way to the TP Lines. And come close to the Chandigarh police slogan: ‘We care for you’. Don’t they, really?

P.L. MEHRA, Chandigarh

Mittal’s success

I refer to the editorial, “Steely resolve” (June 27). Mr Laxmi Niwas Mittal deserves to be honoured as an outstanding Indian entrepreneur and should be conferred the Bharat Ratna for his vision and commitment for internationalisation of Indianisation.

Through hard work, he could make the Indian multinational company the world’s largest steel company. We should make every possible effort to create goodwill for fetching fortunes by understanding the essentials of market dynamics of globalisation.

Prof M.M. GOEL, Kurukshetra

Why criticise now?

There is no point in criticising the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre now for its failure to check price rise and terrorism. People have voted for the Congress and brought it to power. Therefore, they have no right to criticise the Congress now for its failure to keep its election promise of helping the aam admi. For this, we should rather praise the Congress instead of criticising it.



No water on Punjab pattern

Ours are about 80 villages of Punjab across the Ghaggar in the most backward Sardulgarh sub-division of Mansa district adjoining Haryana. The Bhakra Main Canal, through a minor canal named the New Dhudal Branch, provides irrigation facilities to this area.

However, it is the Haryana’s Irrigation Department that prepares the water turn of the canal, which irrigated this area. As a result, the farmers of this area are deprived of their right to get irrigation water on Punjab pattern.

The Superintending Engineer and the Executive Engineer (Irrigation) on Punjab side are aware of this problem, but little has been done to remove this discrepancy. The matter should be looked into at the highest level and justice needs to be done to the farmers of these villages promptly.

BALJIT PAL SINGH, Jhanda Kalan (Mansa)



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