Small hydel projects in Himachal

The article, “Environment, the first casualty” (June 4) conveys an erroneous impression that micro hydel projects cause damage to environment. This is not true. The small hydro power (SHP) development, if expertly conceived, planned and implemented, is not only environment-friendly but mitigates the environmental stress brought about by natural and manmade causes.

Unfortunately, the SHP programme in Himachal Pradesh is being carried out without due diligence. Many sites have been allotted by the agency to developers without sufficient field work, field data and environmental compatibility analysis.

The neo-developers with no background of hydro development complexities, do not know that every site on a stream is not suitable for hydro development. Small wonder, such projects fail to take off or become financially unviable.


As SHP development (with its associated activities like rural electrification and power distribution) is a strong instrument for rural economic growth and employment generation, the development policy in HP should aim at promoting the majority of micro-hydel projects as low head projects, using heads from 5 to 20m.

This would minimise land acquisition and subsequent displacement of people, depletion of forests, ecological degradation and shorter construction periods.

S.K. SHARMA, Energy Consultant,New Delhi

CET exam

On June 2, Punjab CET exams were held at the DAV College Centre. Some students asked the invigilator about the subject code and the subject to be filled up in the second paper, as only in the first paper, it was mentioned Physics.

The invigilator should have either pleaded ignorance or should not have misled the candidates. He asked the candidates to fill up any subject. So some students filled up Chemistry instead of Mathematics in the second paper. Even the subject code was entered wrongly.

After 15 minutes, the invigilator told them to amend it; this was not possible in OMR sheets. When the students objected, he pacified them by taking their roll numbers and assured them that their papers will be corrected manually. This is not the way in which CET exams should be held.

Dr M. MITTAL, Jalandhar Cantonment

New IT forms

The much published Form (ITR-I) for filing the Income-Tax returns by the salaried class and pensioners for the Assessment Year 2007-08, notified by the CBDT, is not that simple as being made out to be when compared to the earlier versions like Saral and new-Saral (2D-2E).

It is lengthy and confusing. A separate acknowledgement form has to be appended with it while submitting the returns. The new form has three pages.

Though two months of the assessment year have passed, the forms are not yet available with the local Income-Tax Office. Some people could manage to get these on payment. The last date for filing returns (July 31) need to be extended.

Dr S.S. SOOCH, Jalandhar


The new income-tax return forms are not available in the Income-Tax Commissioner’s office. Surprisingly, these forms are available in plenty in the open market for a hefty price.

While introducing these forms, the Centre should have made these available to the assesses well before the last date for filing the returns. To avoid serpentine queues on the last day for filing returns, the government should make available these forms right now. Alternatively, they should be allowed to file returns on the Saral forms already in vogue. If this is not possible, the government should extend the due date.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh


Simplify disability pension rules

Our armed forces personnel have made seminal contribution to the cause of security, stability and integrity of the country. They come out in flying colours wherever they go - in the counter-insurgency operations, helping civil authorities during emergencies like earthquakes or floods and the like.

Owing to different climatic conditions, many personnel become disabled. The authorities, however, turn a Nelson’s eye towards low medical category personnel because all servicemen should be physical fit and mentally alert, according to rules.

It is the sacred duty of the nation to look after these personnel and give them a handsome pension so that their kith and kin don’t consider them a burden on them. The disability pension scheme has lot of anomalies which should be rectified.

There is a need to simplify the grant of disability pension. The Sixth Pay Commission should provide a better package to the low medical category personnel.

Lt-Col ANGAD SINGH (retd), Mohali

PSEB bloomers

The Punjab School Education Board has recently published the English textbook for Class X. On page 43, Sir Henry Wotton’s poem entitled ‘The Character of a Happy Life’ has been given under the title ‘Character of a Happy Man’.

There are several bloomers. Worse, a complete stanza has been left out. Even the wording of the original poem has been altered. The first line of the original poem is “How happy is he born and taught’, but the text of PSEB shows ‘or’ instead of ‘and’.




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