Financial mess in PSEB

Next few moths are going to be very tough on the Punjab government because of the financial mess created by the Punjab State Electricity Board management. The PSEB has already incurred an accumulated loss of over Rs 2000 crore. This has happened because Capt Amarinder Singh’s government did not bother to enhance power generation in the state. Short-cut measures to make up ever increasing demand by purchasing power from other states through third parties at jacked up rates caused further loss to the exchequer.

Today Punjab has total installed capacity of little over 4500 MW and lean period consumption of over 6000 MW rises to 9500 MW during peak season. Commissioning of two units of Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant cannot take place before early next year. At optimum functioning it can add 500 MW to the generating capacity. A nuclear plant may take years to come hurdles from environmentalists, administrative hiccups, shortage of funds and none too helpful attitude of Congress-dominated government at the Centre might bury the thoughtful project in its embryonic stage.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala


Officers’ shortage in Army

This relates to shortage of 12,000 defence officers. This number is increasing day by day. Besides, more than 2500 officers have sought premature retirement. This is a matter of great concern. Honour and dignity of officers is dwindling. Slow promotion to the next rank is a matter of frustration and dejection. Besides one rank-one pension has not yet been fully implemented.

Furthermore, better prospects, more pay and perks in civil, disparity in terms and conditions, early retirement, lack of re-employment and placement in para-military forces, long disturbed life in field area and non family stations, shortage of married accommodation and the problem of children’s education in view of frequent postings and lastly quality of communication of senior officers with the rank and file, make a defence career unattractive.

The government should examine various shortcomings and anomalies to attract the youth to join the Army.

M. L. BATURA, Karnal

Train to Srinagar

For the past 60 years we have been hearing about constructing a railway line from Jammu to Srinagar. The line laying started after dilly dallying by successive governments and has proceeded only 25 per cent of its length to Udhampur after 50 years. The Chinese have constructed a 1950-km line from Quinghai to Lhasa in Tibet, a territory which China claims as its own, along with certain parts of North East India and run ultra-modern trains which do not harm the fragile ecology of the region.

In India, we do not have the will to do it. No wonder, the Kashmiris are upset with India and its politicians. Talking of creation of infrastructure is a taboo in India. With the Chinese deciding to extend this railway line to the border with India, will the Indians wake up?

R. VASUDEV, Bangalore

BT cotton

BT cotton farming has shown good results in Malwa (Punjab). The government should encourage such farming. It will save water-starved Malwa from turning into desert as cotton, which needs much less water, will replace paddy.

This will not only benefit farmers but also give respite to industry, reeling under acute power shortage. Let it not be used indiscriminately by farmers to invite their own doom. Good support price along with other liberal benefits should be given for cotton farming.

B. S. AGGARWAL, Panchkula

No research

Ramesh Chandra’s article “Research takes a back seat” (March 27) draws attention to a fact which needs to be taken care of at high priority not only by the educational institutions but by the private enterprise too. In ancient India ashrams of rishis were laboratories for research and that’s the reason that ancient India was highly research oriented. Now research show of be on a sustained basis funded by universities, governments and private enterprise.


Liquor vends

The HP Government’s excise policy prohibits setting up of liquor vends in close proximity of educational institutions. However, the liquor vend at Ambota village of Una district violates the said policy as there are three largely attended co-educational schools functioning within a radius of 200 yards from it!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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