Need to reduce dependence on oil

I endorse the view in the editorial “Oil on the boil” (July 24) that India should work out a strategy to cope with the rising oil prices. The Centre must not stop at merely asking the states to cut unreasonable taxes on oil, but should also look for alternative sources of energy to reduce dependence on crude oil.

If electricity generated from natural resources such as hydel, solar, thermal, wind etc, were made available in plenty, then the consumers, domestic and industrial, would not burn diesel to operate generators to meet the ever-increasing energy requirements.

The state pollution control boards should promote the use of steam coal by the industries with adequate air pollution control devices instead of mindlessly pressuring the latter by advocating the use of furnace oil (which is a product of crude oil), the import of which is making India poorer.

Let’s use the available resources in the country so that we can cut imports.

People should be educated to use oil carefully. We are short of water but never care to shut an unused flowing public tap.

We are short of crude oil and import the same, but we are more and more dependent on it. We as a nation need to become more responsible in utilising these gifts of nature.

ARVIND DHUMAL, Advocate, Jalandhar



Spare the President

I endorse the views in the editorial “Limits of powers: Kalam can’t withhold assent the second time” (July 26). Parliament is the supreme law-making body. Within the parameters of the Constitution, it has the power to pass, revise and reject the laws.

The President, under Article 111 of the Constitution, has every right to send the Bill passed by Parliament back to it for reconsideration. But if Parliament passes the original Bill again, then the President has no alternative but to give his assent to it.

Parliament represents the will of the people of India and not the President and in case it does something wrong or unconstitutional, the people have every right to change their representatives in the next election.

Besides, the laws passed by Parliament can the challenged in the Supreme Court which can declare a law null and void. So why to drag the President, a noble soul, into partisan politics?

Prof J.S. BADAYAL, Hoshiarpur


Welcome move

The Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s proposal to raise the retirement age of Central University teachers from 62 to 65 years is welcome. It will help government tackle the shortage of qualified teachers following the decision to give 27 per cent reservation for the OBCs as also increase the number of seats in the institutions of higher education.

Improved life expectancy, longer duration for acquiring professional degrees, late entry into service and various other factors demand that the retirement age of university and college teachers in all the states  including Punjab should be fixed at 62 years.


Bonus for wheat

The editorial “Give more for wheat” (July 17) represents the peasants’ voice in the wheat-producing states. The Tribune had voiced the farmers’ views in its editorial (April 24) along with the opinions of Mr Manohar Singh Gill, MP, and those of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture (May 5) questioning the Union Food Secretary on wheat import.

The Punjab Chief Minister had urged the Centre to extend wheat bonus of Rs 50 a quintal to all farmers who sold their wheat to private parties on April 25. Some farmers brought wheat for sale in the authorised markets and did so in the auctions conducted there whereas others sold wheat directly to the mills/ private parties from their fields/stores.

Those who obtained the J-form before the Centre’s decision on bonus of Rs 50 a quintal of wheat should also be given bonus because they sold their produce in the authorised markets before the announcement.


Knowledge hub

I refer to the news-item “State to be made knowledge hub” (July 24). The Himachal Pradesh government deserves appreciation for having a vast network of 16,000 schools, 62 colleges and four universities. For this, the state has got recognition at the national level.

The time has now come to give serious thought to improve quality in these institutions. The governments should fill the posts of heads of all colleges and schools with the right people. This would boost the morale of the teachers as also help students.


Upgrade highway

The Nurpur-Suliali-Dunnera Road is on the state highway. The 20-km-long road covers many nalas and khads, including the Chaki river. In the past, the lack of bridges on these nalas and the river had made this link a seasonal one. In the post-independence era, however, these nalahs were bridged one by one.

Following the construction of a 400-feet cement concrete bridge over the Chaki river, this road has become an all whether road. The link also reduces the length of Nurpur-Chamba state highway from 111 km (via Kakira) to 94 km via Dunnera. The link road deserves to be upgraded to national highway standard.

RAKSHA KUMARI, Suliali, Kangra



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