Industry a threat to tourism

Recently, the Himachal government has approved of setting up a cement plant near Sundernagar. This was unnecessary as this region already has two cement plants at Darlaghat and Barmana.

The Ambuja cement plant transports clinker by trucks to their blending and packaging plant at Ropar. The ACC plant imports fly-ash from the Ropar thermal plant and does blending and packaging at Barmana and the cement is sent to various parts of the country. Trucks of both these companies use NH-21 — Ambuja up to Nauni, 5 km before Bilaspur, and ACC up to Barmana, 15 km beyond Bilaspur.

Apart from thousands of trucks of both companies plying on NH-21, hundreds of trucks carrying essential commodities and petroleum products to Leh ply during summer. Thus, NH-21 is very crowded. Manali-bound tourists find it to difficult to pass through hundreds of slow-moving, overloaded and polluting trucks. These make their pleasure trip a pain.

The state government can earn revenue by emulating Switzerland. It should promote only tourism-related activities and non-polluting industry.

SANJAY TANDON, Sundernagar


Vanishing tigers

The editorial ‘Vanishing tigers’ (May 22) was timely. Besides tigers and lions, other animals like star tortoises, sea horses and leopards are also on the verge of extinction. Strict action must be taken against those indulging in smuggling. Poachers must be punished and thrown behind bars.

Forest guards should be given more powers. The Wildlife Act and the Forest Conservation Act need to be amended and followed in letter and spirit. People’s dependence on forests for livelihood should be minimised. And general awareness needs to be spread to save the wildlife.

SOURABH BAMBA, Forezepore City


Pensioner’s grouse

As a result of merger of 50 per cent DA in pension vide a Punjab government order dated June 1, 2006, pensioners have been divided into two categories: One who retired up to March 31, 2004, and the other who retired after March 31, 2004. For the first category, this 50 per cent merged DA is Dearness Pension whereas for the second category, it is basic pension.

One basic pension is paid as LTC after every two years to all pensioners.

Pensioners retired up to March 31, 2004, get the LTC amount 50 per cent less than the pensioners of post-Mach 31, 2004 — basic pension without adding 50 per cent merged DA, termed as dearness pension. This policy needs rectification retrospectively.

SHAMSHER SINGH, Kurali, Mohali

Mired in scams

I read a news-item on the closure of the House Building Cooperative Societies in East Delhi (May 11). Awareness is now growing and the Resident Welfare Associations have approached the Delhi government for the purpose.

In fact, the exercise for winding up of these cooperative societies should have started in Delhi long back. But the Registrar has failed to discharge his statutory duty. His office staff is irresponsible and lethargic.

Of late, the housing and cooperative societies are mired in scams. Now that the media is out to help the people, the Registrar should heed the people’s voice and act in accordance with the provisions of Section 94 of the Delhi Cooperative Societies Act, 2003.


Make it transparent

The editorial “Tax them more” rightly emphasised the need for better tax realisation than imposition of new taxes. We are compared with foreign countries as regards higher taxation, whereas we are much below their standard of living.

Income tax to the tune of Rs 85,000 crore is said to be recoverable and recommended for write off. Apparently, either the people are not correctly assessed or the assessment is not realised for reasons best known to the department. Recently, cricket players have been given unjustified tax exemption. Honest taxpayers should be given the benefit of standard deduction which was recently withdrawn. Tax assessment and collection should be made more open and transparent.

A.P. SHARMA, Panchkula

Patiala neglected

With the change of government, development work in Patiala has come to a standstill. Roads and sewer lines are badly in need of repair. Traffic control is in a mess as the lights have not been set in tune with the traffic volume. Even at important crossings like Bus Stand to Chandigarh Road and Sheranwala Gate to Baradari, only 15 seconds time is given for movement of traffic. This is creating hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic.

Moreover, vehicles are parked in the busy markets. There is no restriction on the entry of heavy vehicles, trollies, rehras etc in the main bazaar. Garbage collection is very poor. The area near Rajindra Tank, which was developed as a tourist spot, has become a dumping ground for garbage. When it rains, power supply is switched off for hours. The new government should give proper attention to Patiala.

Dr V.K. JAIN, Patiala

SC ruling welcome

The Supreme Court’s decision to improve upon the law for banning ragging in all educational institutions is welcome as it will eliminate this evil from our society. The accused should be awarded exemplary punishment to act as a deterrent.

The Supreme Court has taken a right stand against those students who have forgotten their real aim and have chosen a wrong path for enjoyment.




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