Scrap BOT to check corruption

The Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) must be scrapped forthwith as it is anti-people, giving a free hand to contractors to fleece the government and the people.

Today roads, bridges, offices etc are built under BOT by the contractors in almost all the states though they have roads and bridges corporations with adequate manpower and technical know how. Moreover, departments like irrigation, buildings and roads, public health etc are headed by bureaucrats and chief engineers. Surprisingly, however, private contractors execute the works at hefty rates. Corruption is rampant due to the politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus.

Worse, road users are forced to pay hefty toll tax at several points on the GT road from Amritsar to Delhi though they pay regular road tax and cess. The Punjab government has passed on the toll tax burden even to bus passengers. This is double taxation!

Why should expressways be built under the BOT system? Contractors, in connivance with the government, are robbing the taxpayers’ money. In Hoshiarpur district, the people have been protesting against toll tax at three points. Some vehicles skip highways to avoid tax. Instead of using private contractors for expressways and other public utilities, the government itself should take them up so that people are not made to suffer.

S.K. KHOSLA,Chandigarh


Schools of exploitation

I appreciate G.S. Paul’s report highlighting the undesirable activities of some public schools in Chandigarh under the caption “Parents strive as school, shop link thrives” (April 8).

The public schools at Ambala in no way lag behind. Rather they are a step forward in making holes in the parents’ pockets. The appropriate authorities are required to take corrective measures.

Some public schools in Ambala have violated the building bylaws at the cost of children’s life. In one of the schools, the staircase is very narrow and in the event of any mishap, disaster is waiting to happen. The local authorities have failed to take action for reasons best known to them.

T.L. VERMA, Ambala City

A wake-up call

I wish to draw citizens’ attention to the irresponsible conduct of the present-day electronic media. Everyday we find a new report on issues which are of little value. Who is bothered about Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding. Day in any day out, all the TV channels were full of this news.

The electronic media must make a distinction between knowledge and non-knowledge news. Instead of creating concepts like “Aishwarya ki Mehndi” or “Aishwarya ki Banarasi saree”, TV channels should direct their time and energy to other important issues which can help the nation. I request all citizens to discard channels who continue to indulge in gossip news.


Slaughter of dogs

I draw your attention to the photograph of activists protesting against the killing of dogs (April 1). It is all right to condemn the slaughter of stray dogs in Karnataka and elsewhere which is against morality and in violation of the ‘service conduct rules’. But what about millions of innocent chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, fish etc which are mercilessly killed daily for human consumption? They too have the right to life.

We should explore some alternative method to deal with the problems posed by stray dogs and cattle roaming in the streets. Our concern for life should be shared equally by the living beings irrespective of utility considerations.

V.K. RANGRA, New Delhi


Corruption in FCI

Cases of abduction are again on the rise in Bihar. The latest is that of a Food Corporation of India (FCI) officer whose abductors have demanded a ransom of Rs 21 crore. For many years, the FCI has become a den of corruption. The staff is so corrupt — from the officer to the ordinary employee level — that they get bribes as a matter of routine.

The FCI is generally called the “Full Corruption of India”. Nothing is done without bribes. In the national interest, the FCI should be wound up because it is not making any worthwhile contribution to the nation.

RAMESH GUPTA,Narwana (Haryana)

Different criteria

The essential qualification for the Principal’s post in Punjab’s private colleges is Ph.D degree with 10 years teaching experience in a college.

In sharp contrast, there is no such condition of Ph.D degree in the government colleges where serving lectures are promoted as Principals on the basis of their seniority. The authorities concerned should examine this anomaly and remove the disparity.


Retirement age

This is regarding raising the retirement age of Punjab government employees on the Central pattern as promised by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the SAD’s election manifesto. The retirement age of medical teachers has been raised, but no decision has been taken about other employees till now. I appeal to the Punjab Chief Minister to fulfil his election promise expeditiously.

C.L. SHARMA,Mubarikpur (Mohali)



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