Gram Sabhas should select BPL families

The Tribune has carried reports on the Haryana government’s criteria of grading poverty, how the yardstick varies from district to district and a fresh survey of the below poverty level families ordered by the Chief Minister. The issue in question calls for a detailed examination. The Centre on the basis of the Planning Commission’s 13 socio-economic indicators got the BPL Census 2002 conducted through the states during 2003 for identification of families living below the poverty line (BPL) in the rural areas.

The total score of these indicators is 52 including the family size of operational holdings, type of house, average availability of clothing, food security, availability of household and sanitation facilities, consumer durable ownership, literacy status of highest literate adult, size of the labour force, means of livelihood, status of children, indebtedness, migration status and preference of family for assistance.

The families with the lowest score were to be identified as BPL, which was to be decided on the basis of incidence of poverty in the state. The Planning Commission estimates the incidence of poverty statewise through the NSSO survey. According to 55th round of NSSO survey results (1999), the incidence of poverty was 28 per cent in Haryana. In all, 638777 families were identified below poverty line in the previous BPL census.


The incidence of poverty varies from state to state, district to district, block to block and village to village. The government has worked out formulae to identify BPL families on the basis of agriculture productivity in the state. Accordingly, poverty ranges between 20 per cent to 30 per cent. The present crisis is aggravated by vested interests. If the Gram Sabha finalises the list of deserving poor people by consensus, there will be no problem and there is no need for fresh survey.

PURAN SINGH, Asst Professor (HIRD), Nilokheri (Haryana)

Boost to horticulture in HP

The article, “Potato route to prosperity” (March 16) reveals that the vibrant vision and intelligence quotient of K.S. Bains, an IAS officer, has brought unusual prosperity through potato cultivation in the Lahaul valley. In spite of remarkable revolution in science and technology, the bureaucrats of the horticulture department have failed to introduce such innovative ideas.

The climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh are ideal for alternative farming and for growing fruits such as pear, orange and mango. The Himachal land is covered with “kainth trees”. The grafting of better quality of pear on kainth trees can bring additional miracle in the economy of Himachal Pradesh as well as its people.

However, the district administration and the officials of the horticulture department need to draw a comprehensive plan to this effect. There is need to spread awareness on this at various levels — from the officials to the common man.

AJAY VIKRANT, Sundernagar (HP)

Restore buses

The public transport system should be commuter-friendly, besides being a commercial institution. It should aim at collection of maximum revenue. The grid system as a whole introduced more than a year back, has proved neither beneficial to the passengers nor has it turned out to be revenue earning. This system, therefore, needs to be reviewed.

Despite a number of representations to the authorities and airing of grievance through the media, point to point routes of bus Nos 10 and 123 have not yet been restored. Both these routes help the residents of Phases 11 and 10, Mohali and Sectors 49, 48, 47, 46, 45 etc., Chandigarh. The students of these areas could earlier reach their colleges in Sectors 10 and 11, Multi-speciality hospital, Sector 16, PGI and the University.

Now there is no direct bus for the students, residents and senior citizens of these areas to go to the above-said places. They have to change buses en route. Changing the buses on the way is not only inconvenient but hazardous. The plight of an ailing senior citizen of the area going to PGI, Chandigarh, changing bus on the way can well be imagined.

I urge the authorities to restore the plying of buses along the erstwhile routes no. 10 and 123. There is no paucity of traffic along these routes and the buses, if introduced, will run to their full capacity.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh

Welcome ban

The Centre has rightly banned the use of high sounding words like national, international, universal, global etc with the names of B.Ed colleges being run in this country. It was in mid-fifties that the Teacher Training Colleges were named as “Colleges of Education” because it was strongly felt that men and women were not trained like horses and elephants; they were rather educated in the art of pedagogies. But this was not done correctly.

Education is provided in all types of schools, colleges and universities including institutes for doctors, engineers, lawyers or technicians etc; it is not exclusively meant for teachers. So colleges or institutes where teachers are trained should be named as Colleges of Teacher Education and not merely Colleges of Education.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

Service with a smile

The ECHS polyclinic of Yol Cantonment caters to the needs of outpatients consisting of about 200-250 ex-servicemen. This is highest in comparison to other polyclinics due to the availability of facilities at MH Yol and RPGMC, Dharamshala.

The polyclinic at Yol is well equipped with latest machines and computers and every effort is done to examine the patients in less possible time. Special attention is given to octogenarians. Patients are dealt with proper guidance and attended to with a gentle smile.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, Yol Cantonment (Kangra)

Fill vacancies

Despite repeated appeals, the Amarinder Singh government did not lift the ban on the recruitment in teaching and non-teaching posts in government aided schools. The situation has deteriorated as there is no adequate staff in these schools to teach students. I request the Parkash Singh government to fill the vacancies in these schools and help students.




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