Waiting for payment of arrears

Serving and retired defence officers welcome the legal notice sent to the Defence Secretary on payment of arrears (Nov 20). All these officers should be paid their dues promptly, as recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission, the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court.

The legal notice is particularly welcome because while rejecting our demands, the then Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, told the officers to go to court. Though two former Prime Ministers and the then Defence Minister George Fernandes endorsed our demand for ‘One rank one pension’ Mr Mukherjee, as the head of the Group of Ministers, rejected this.

He has also rejected our demand to include one member from the defence services on the Sixth Pay Commission. How can we get justice if this is the attitude of the powers that be? We demand justice and fair play.

Lt-Col A.S. BHINDER (retd), Mohali



The Centre has partially agreed to the demand of ‘One rank one pension’ of the defence personnel and issued notification for the payment of the same from January 1, 2006. The defence personnel who get pension through DPO have already got the benefit in July and August. However, those getting pension directly through banks have not yet received their increased pension. The government should direct the banks to credit the increased pension at the earliest.

SANTOKH SINGH, Subedar (retd), Gurdaspur


The Union Ministries of Defence and Finance have been paying lip-sympathy to our demands for past many years. There are many officers who have put in more than 20 years of meritorious service. Though they have more than 18 years of embodied/paid service, they have not received pension. Is there any one willing to take up their cause? The Defence Minister should look into the matter?

Major P.C. GUPTA (retd), Shamshi (Kulu)

Time to reorganise big states

Shastri Ramachandaran’s article, “Demand for new states: Centre has to evolve criteria” (Nov 15) offers no solution to the malady of maladministration prevailing in bigger states. Uttar Pradesh’s population alone is one-sixth of the country. In the present administrative set up, a Chief Minister just cannot manage a state with 50 to 55 districts.

The main reason for the backwardness of most states has been their omnibus size. Look at the progress being made in the new state of Chhattisgarh. Earlier, this region had remained backward because Madhya Pradesh’s capital, Bhopal, was far off. Likewise, West Bengal’s Siliguri district is backward because it is 500 km away from Kolkata.

For administrative efficiency, the optimum size of a state is the area that covers 150 Assembly or 15 parliamentary seats or a population of 35 million people. The capital must be centrally located. Therefore, for speedy economic development, the Centre should reorganise the nine big states. Districts in these states, as in the US, should be provided with regional directorates.


Quota for Muslims

India being a secular, democratic republic, reservation on the basis of religion is unconstitutional and needs to be avoided. Union Human Resource Development Arjun Singh is said to have proposed quotas for the Muslims, but this does not have constitutional sanction.

It should not be forgotten that communalism and communal representation were responsible for the country’s Partition and the formation of Pakistan. Communalism should not be allowed to do further vivisection of the country.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh

Dirty drains

Open dirty drains are stuffed and choked with filth, nightsoil and garbage in front and in the vicinity of outer houses (from no. 101 to 115), Subhash Colony, Ambala Cantonment. Originally built for sanitation, these have become outdated now.

Though the neighbouring Housing Board Colony has a complete sewerage system, the outer houses in Subhash Colony have no proper arrangement for the disposal of filthy refuse. The houses of Subhash Colony from no. 101 to 145 are the worst affected. These houses are not connected to any sewerage unlike the identical houses from no. 146 to 180. The authorities should take immediate remedial steps.

K. B. PARWAZ, Ambala Cantonment

Claim, counter-claim

The identity of any region is recognised by its spoken language, its culture and the background of those living in that area. No doubt, Dakshan Haryana reflects the true culture and identity of its inhabitants, but Uttar Haryana is a good mixture of Hindi and Punjabi culture.

The borders touching Chandigarh from Ambala or Kalka side definitely have a Punjabi rather than Haryanvi flavour. Hence, Haryana’s claim on Chandigarh is unjustified and unfair.

The surrounding and adjoining areas of Chandigarh, if merged with Punjab, will strengthen the voting power of all major communities in this region. Also 80 per cent of the area surrounding Chandigarh is under Punjab and so is the main entry from Delhi into Chandigarh. The future growth of the airport, or the city itself means using Punjab land. That’s why, the Union Territory Administration is worried over Chandigarh’s development.

K.L. GROVER, Kharar



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