Ensuring safety of buildings

I read Dr G. S. Dhillon letter, “Making building durable” (July 10). Volumetric-mix concrete 1:2:4 even for ordinary structures is obsolute; it is no longer permitted by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Concrete to be used, particularly for important structures is to be suitably designed for its strength. The Chandigarh Engineering Department or even some private company/contractor can install ready mix concrete plant to supply concrete of requisite strength to the users. This will ensure safety of structures, of course, for such an arrangement, a fleet of carrier vehicles would be required to transport concrete to various destinations.

G. R. KALRA, Chandigarh

Save oil

The Centre is not taking effective steps to reduce oil imports and develop indigenous alternative fuels as sources of energy. Saving of oil from combustion will help save the environment from gaseous pollution.

One, we must promote public transport by introducing AC and deluxe buses on the trunk routes. If there is quick, comfortable and assured public transport in the cities, the use of personal transport (like cars and two wheelers) will automatically be checked. Two, the government should improve the railway services so that passenger and goods traffic increases from the present 25 per cent and 40 per cent respectively to 70 per cent.This will reduce oil consumption by 30 per cent.


Three, there is need for a massive programme for producing ethanol from sugarcane on the Brazil model. (One quintal of sugarcane will produce 3.5 litres of ethanol). Likewise, the production of biofuel from jatropha plantation should be promoted on a national scale. And finally, the government must make earnest efforts to commercialise the recent discoveries of oil and gas under the national exploratory programme.



Footpath on both sides, please

The National Highway No 21 passes through Sundernagar, a fast growing town. It has a number of educational institutions including a dental and engineering college. It also has a unit of the hydro-electric project.

There is heavy tourist traffic towards Manali through this town. As a result, it is becoming difficult for pedestrians to walk along the national highway, which is the only road through the town. The footpath is very narrow. A road without the footpath, even if it is fairly wide, is encroached upon by the unruly vehicular traffic, posing danger to the pedestrians. Footpath should be provided for pedestrians on both sides of NH-21 right from Punjab and up to Dhanolu.

NEENA SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)

SC grouping

In Haryana’s universities, for purposes of admission in courses like B.Ed, reserved categories like the SC and the OBCs were divided into Group A and B. But while this grouping has been removed for the SCs, it continues for the OBCs.

As a result, though Group B castes, already far advanced in education, get undue benefits, Balmikis and Mazbis of Group A, weak in education, are deprived of the privilege. This happened last year and is happening this year too.

The SC groupings must be  reintroduced to help the disadvantaged castes.

RAJINDER PAL SINGH, Nilokheri (Karnal)

Hydro projects

I read the letter “Small hydro projects in Himachal” (June 30). The prevailing technology to harness the energy from small hydro projects is by maximising the available head as discharge of the nallahs and khads is limited and cannot be enhanced.

If the head is reduced to 20 M, it shall reduce the potential of various small hydro projects to 6 per cent to 1.6 per cent. This is further reduced to 1.5 per cent if the head is reduced to 5 M which will not be in the interest of the project. Moreover, to harness the required potential, the number of hydro sites will have to be enhanced entailing more land, labour and expenditure. Consequently, this may become unviable.

B. D. CHANGOTRAL, Pathankot

Appoint doctors

The Himachal Government has given some incentives to its employees and created some vacancies for teachers only. The youth who have opent 5-6 years in medival education are still waiting in the wings. These BAMS doctors may also be adjusted in the existing P.H.Cs, CHCs, district hospitals and civil dispensaries.

The authorities concerned may be reminded that the Central health ministry has already advised the states to check quackery with a firm hand by providing better medical facilities with more qualified doctors.

B. D. BHATRA, Gagret, (Una)

JCOs ignored

The UPA government at the Centre has taken many steps for the welfare of ex-servicemen. But it has left untouched a rank called JCO and equivalent ranks in the navy and air force. The Centre should remove this anomaly. It should not ignore the JCO rank which plays a pivotal role. There is huge pension gap between the pre and post 1996 retires.

V. K. GUPTA, Ludhiana



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