Singing paeans for imaginary progress

The Punjabi aphorism, Palle na seir ata, gaundi da sangh pata (She has nothing to eat but still sings herself hoarse in celebration) is aptly applicable in the case of Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Prakash Singh Badal singing and vying with each other to take credit for the so-called development made by Punjab. This follows an India Today survey declaring Punjab as No 1 state in the country in infrastructural development.

These leaders are well aware that Punjab is neck deep in debt. People are committing suicide because of abject poverty. Teachers are on the streets asking for jobs. The youth are trying to go abroad taking all types of risks because of acute unemployment at home.

The infrastructure, a sine qua non for attracting investment, leaves much to be desired. So our leaders singing paeans for the imaginary progress made by the state amounts to adding insult to the injury. If Capt Singh and Mr Badal really want to make Punjab the No 1 state, they should shun one-upmanship, rise above personal differences and join forces for its all-around development.

SATWANT KAUR, Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur)


Rahul’s new role

The editorial, “Son and substance” (Sept 26) aptly mentioned that Congress President Sonia Gandhi has boldly appointed her son Rahul Gandhi as the party general secretary. I would like to add that, in the process, she has emerged as a leader with a political will to fight poverty, backwardness, illiteracy and bad
or trivial politics.

Unlike others, Sonia is not “greedy” enough to grab power. She is potentially a powerful individual who has been honest towards the nation’s progress in science, technology and education. Though she has taken much time in deciding about Rahul’s appointment, it is a wise and objective decision. Rahul is young and “not an unknown entity in politics.”

True, Rahul failed “in converting the crowds into votes for the Congress” in the UP Assembly elections, but that was the case with many national leaders too. Admittedly, Rahul has to prove himself worth “his crest.” He has to rediscover his role and importance in the Congress politics and has to discern the future which the new India confronts.

Prof B.L. CHAKOO, GND University, Amritsar

Ruthless military

The military in Myanmar has been ruthlessly crushing peaceful demonstrations in the country. India is keeping silent; it is not condemning the military. It seems India doesn’t stand for democracy and principles anymore.

This is not the country which fought for independence and democracy in the whole world. It stood against Israel, France, Britain in the Suez crisis, against apartheid in South Africa and played a key role in the creation of Bangladesh. Our leaders should wake up and realise that only a democratic Myanmar can protect the people and their life and liberty. We need to impose sanctions and ensure early restoration of democracy in Myanmar .

RAMINDER AUL, Manchester (UK)

Concrete roads are durable

Any Indian road user will rue the condition of the roads. All roads develop cracks and potholes during the monsoon and require relaying every year. While creating road infrastructure, we should keep in mind its sustainability and maintenance. These two aspects should incur minimum expenditure. The solution to this lies in constructing concrete roads which are far superior to bitumen roads and have a host of advantages.

Concrete roads are more durable and give smoother and safer driving experience. An average concrete road has a life span of 25 years compared to just four years of a bitumen road. Concrete roads can carry very high volume of traffic and are not vulnerable to water logging. Thus, they should be preferred in coastal areas and areas with high rainfall. They help reduce fuel consumption as also green house gas emissions which, in turn, will help protect the environment.

As concrete pavements have more visibility at night, these prevent accidents. Though the initial cost may be more, looking at the benefits of concrete roads, the Ministry of Surface Transport should give due thought about building at least all expressways of concrete.




Good gesture, but…

Nawanshahr has been renamed as Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. It is a good gesture to remember the martyr. However, the change should not meet the fate of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (popularly known as Mohali).

For, the state government does not seem to be serious in implementing the decision. Newspapers and the general public continue to call SAS Nagar as Mohali. This is an insult to the illustrious son of the great Guru Gobind Singh after whose name Mohali was renamed.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Trains sans toilets

EMU trains No. 1 (Sun), 2 (Sun) and 3 (Sun) run between Saharanpur and Nangal Dam section. These trains take about six hours to reach their respective destinations. Coaches attached to them do not have toilets. As a result, passengers, particularly the aged and children, have to face difficulty to answer the call of nature.

EMU trains are successful only on short routes and where there is availability of train after every five minutes as in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. I request the Railway Minister to help provide coaches with toilets in the EMU trains in this section.

KIRPAL SINGH, Yamunanagar



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