An enduring solution to power crisis

Disturbingly, about one-third of the total power generated in the country is lost in transmission and distribution losses. In sharp contrast, transmission losses are barely one-tenth of the total power generation elsewhere in the world. Obviously, there is more to it than meets the eye.

If the State Electricity Boards tackle the power pilferage problem sincerely, the availability of power can be increased by at least 20-25 per cent. An emphatic “No” to freebies and roping in private investment in the power sector can also go a long way in easing the bleak scenario.

An enduring solution should, however, be to step up the generation of electricity. This can be done by utilising the enormous outlays in improving the efficiency the existing plants and replacing the obsolete equipment and ensuring proper maintenance of the machinery.




The editorial, “Darkness at noon” rightly observes that the Centre and the states have failed on the power front. The states have found an easy way out to blame the Centre for their failure on the power front.

The editorial rightly asks why cannot states in general and Punjab in particular take stringent action against power theft (which has been rightly described by the Prime Minister as “cancer”) which accounts for an alarming 30-45 per cent losses. I would urge the Punjab government to initiate a vigorous drive against power theft.

Lt-Col ONKAR CHOPRA (retd), Abohar (Punjab)


Under the aegis of the Consumer Protection and Grievances Redressal Forum, we have been organising awareness camps on power conservation in SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Ropar districts for the last few years. Though these camps and leaflets, the residents are apprised of various methods like the use of CFL lamps to save power.

Over the years, we have been pleading with the government and the PSEB to popularise CFLs. At last the new government has taken a decision which will help save power.

The CFLs do have some drawbacks. The Chinese made are costly. To make them affordable, the government would do well to provide them at subsidised rates. Secondly, as CFLs contain mercury, the fused ones should be carefully disposed off.

Col ANGAD SINGH (retd), Mohali


Agenda for Shimla council

Now that the civic elections are over, all counsellors, cutting across party lines, should work for Shimla’s development. First, our public conveniences, streets and prominent places including popular tourist spots are in a state of utter neglect.

Linked with this is the primitive system of garbage collection, its disposal and treatment. Unless this problem is attended to on a war footing, the filth and stench already pervading in some areas could become a potential source of epidemic, posing a health hazard to this burgeoning city.

Next is the perpetual problem of water shortage. This can be tackled by improving the water distribution, particularly in areas away from VIP dwellings.

Congestion on roads in Lower Bazaar, Sabzi Mandi, Cart Road and elsewhere needs immediate attention. We must ensure safe movement of pedestrians and control of vehicular traffic/ parking of vehicles almost in all parts of the city.

The internal working of the municipal office itself needs a radical change. Water and other bills must be issued on time and peoples’ complaints attended to promptly. The Municipal Committee should endeavour to become a role model of efficiency.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla

Stem the rot

Mindless violence, cancerous corruption, endemic casteism and communalism, rabid intolerance and parochialism, you name it, we have them in abundance. One at times wonders whether at this rate India is going downhill and fast turning into an ungovernable entity difficult to sustain itself despite rapid economic progress in certain fields. Most politico-social maladies afflicting us today can be attributed substantially to crass selfishness and abject weak-kneed approach on the part of those ruling India over the years. Add to this the divisive vote-bank politics scarred and stigmatised by the scourge of reservations and concessions. Politicians of all hues must bow in shame and devise ways to stem the rot.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Two-phase poll

The recent confrontation between Gujjars and Meenas has highlighted a basic defect in our election process. Declaring the largest vote-getter in a constituency as the winner irrespective of the vote percentage encourages divisiveness, and invests power in vote blocks beyond their intrinsic worth.

We should amend our Constitution and hold elections in two phases. The first phase will be as now; the two top scorers will enter the second phase and fight it out. This way different vote banks will be forced to form a coalition at the grassroot level itself. Already the prevailing use of electronic voting machines will make the process manageable.

The winner in the two-phase election will have legitimacy. The term of the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies can then be fixed at five years. This will pose no problem at the Centre, because there is no provision of President’s rule. If a state government falls, Governor’s rule can be imposed keeping the Assembly in suspended animation and MLAs paid their salaries.

Two-phase elections accompanied by a fixed term for the House will encourage different pressure groups to accommodate one another, save money and give the country respite from perpetual politicking.




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