Officers must shed their colonial image

Despite 59 years of democratic governance, the bureaucracy has not shed its colonial image. Earlier, it worked for the maintenance of law and order with a firm hand and saluted the throne. Now it works not only in tandem with the political bosses but also promote the welfare of both — politicians and officers themselves. As a result, their assets have increased by leaps and bounds. They sit in cabins, cut off from the public though they are known to be civil servants. When they are not people-friendly, how can they know the sufferings of the masses?

The subordinate staff attend to the needs of the public, but through the good offices of middlemen who prepares files of various cases. Even for a petty case, say, renewal of driving licence, a file has to be prepared after paying a hefty sum. The officials’ negative attitude coupled with harassment requiring repeated visits and other factors force the public to pay through their nose to get their work done. Such bureaucrats must be punished. But who will bell the cat?

Dr R. K. SHARMA, Faridabad


Teachers’ appointment

According to the Punjab government’s directive, 2 per cent quota is reserved for the wards of ex-servicemen in government jobs. However, according to the new policy regarding the selection of Primary ETT and B.Ed teachers, the Nagar Councils are to make a merit list for the selection of such teachers to be appointed in their own jurisdiction.

The requirement of such teachers is not more than 50 in any of the councils. It varies four to 20 or so. As only 2 per cent quota is reserved for the wards of ex-servicemen, it implies that no ward of ex-servicemen is likely to be selected. Thus, some other criteria may be adopted to make best use of the 2 per cent quota for the wards of ex-servicemen.

Possibly, instead of a Nagar Council, a district may be considered as a unit so that at least the requirement of 100 posts be there of which at least two of the wards of ex-servicemen may be selected.

LAJPAT RAI, (Ex-serviceman), Lehragaga

Tipnis’ revelations

The revelations of former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Tipnis reinforce the earlier charges made by some commanders about the Kargil episode. The revelations at that time caught the authorities napping because the senior command did not heed to pleas of junior commanders.

To dispel doubts about the episode and bring the guilty to book, the Union Government should order a high power probe.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana 

Fund, not cess

The letter, Punjab govt accountable for lapses (Sept 15) mentions that 2 per cent rural development cess is being collected by the Punjab Mandi Board from the farmers. It is not rural development cess but rural development fund (RDF). It is not collected from the farmers, but charged from the traders who purchase the produce brought by the farmers in the mandi.

The farmers are charged for unloading, cleaning and dressing the produce brought by the farmer as fixed by the Mandi Board from time to time. No other levy is charged from the farmers.


Supply of medicines

Railway pensioners, who are members of the RELHS scheme, are entitled to get medicines free of cost from the Railway hospitals concerned as prescribed by the recognised hospitals like CMC and DMC at Ludhiana. Some medicines are available in the Railway hospitals and some are procured through local purchase and supplied to the pensioners.

Well qualified doctors of hospitals recommend the medicines. However, why are medicines prescribed by them not supplied to pensioners? The railway authorities should set matters right.



Improve train services

Though Chandigarh is a Union Territory and capital of Punjab and Haryana, the public transport system is in a mess. It is a modern city, well planned and relatively pollution free. But the Railway Ministry has been neglecting it. Chandigarh has no direct train to Amritsar or any other important station in Punjab.

As the number of trains to New Delhi from Chandigarh is too inadequate, the matter requires urgent attention at the highest policymaking level. The absence of the Jan Shatabdi Express on Sundays from Chandigarh to New Delhi and back also represents a glaring gap in the Railway Ministry’s scheme of things.

With the Chandigarh-Delhi bus service somewhat in disarray after the closure of the Ghaggar bridge between Chandigarh and Ambala at least for two years, there is an urgent need to increase the number of trains on this route. Buses between Chandigarh and Delhi now take a longer time and the journey is bedeviled with traffic snarls, jeopardising the passenger convenience, comfort and safety.

Even otherwise, the bus service is beset with various snags with no scheduled stoppages and can hardly equal the convenience and comforts of a train journey. The Railway Minister must intervene and do justice.

S.P. SINGH and GURPAL SINGH, Chandigarh



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