Taking the challenge of Nano

As pointed out in the editorial, “Cars for the people: Indian auto industry comes of age” (Jan 11), Nano, Tata’s new car, will significantly add to the traffic congestion, at least in metros and major cities which are already suffering from congested roads and parking woes. With so many additional cars on the road, there is bound to be considerably enhanced traffic congestion and idling of engines during traffic which will add to the environmental pollution despite the fuel efficiency norms in the car.

Considering that crude oil prices have already crossed the $100 a barrel mark, this will further add to the import bill. Above all, if the driving habits in India and relatively lax enforcement of traffic laws are any indication, the number of accidents on roads could go up.

While celebrating this landmark development in Indian manufacturing industry, it is important that everybody concerned – the government, the industry and the people – carefully plan for a situation when there will be another half-a-million additional cars on Indian roads. We need to construct more roads, bypasses, flyovers, parking slots including multi-storeyed and bring in traffic engineering norms incorporated more effectively, better signages and signals, road infrastructure and stricter enforcement of traffic laws and safe driving habits.

With the vision and drive of Ratan Tata and people of his ilk, “We can do it” too. It would be a pity if he were to stop here and say, “This is the biggest thing I have ever done” and talk of retirement. Having raised the expectations of people with his dream “People’s car”, it is important that people like him (incidentally Ratan Tata is also the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council) now take up the challenge for preparing the country to absorb it.

Otherwise, a situation may come when people will have to even buy a permit to own a car, like in a few other countries.

DHANENDRA KUMAR, Executive Director, World Bank, Washington DC


National I-card

We need to have a national electronic identity card with a number. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development should issue this. The relevant data of the cardholder like his/her photograph, name, parents’ names, date and place of birth, body marks, educational qualifications, bank account number and a national number be printed on this card.

All the data should be put on a computer linked all over India. This number should be written on the driving licence, ration card, voter card, passport, service or employment card and club cards. This should also be used on heavy monetary transactions.

The holder need not carry the card always. Showing the finger or thumb before a monitor of the said computer should immediately give the full data along with the photograph on the screen, confirming the Indian’s identify. Any outsider will be detected on the spot. This will be the best safety for of all us.

RAJINDER SINGH, Jalandhar City

Morality in politics

In his article, “Moral realism on politics: Corruption is a major challenge”, Vice President of India Hamid Ansari has aptly said that “the imperative of ethics in public life is eventually a matter of conscience”.As a logical corollary to this, let me add that we should educate people on morality. Conscience is a product of interaction between an individual and various societal forces. There is no dearth of people who claim to be guided by conscience even when acting normally.

There is another aspect to morality which seems typically Indian. It is somehow presumed that if we don’t hide our misdeeds, our unethnicity is greatly neutralised. The value of truthfulness is thus severely compromised as many people have reduced it to that of a balm for bruised conscience.

AKHILESH, Birampur (Hoshiapur)

Stake in airport

I read the news item “Haryana forces stakes in Mohali airport” (Jan 5). Apparently, the Haryana Chief Minister has prevailed upon Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel regarding his state’s stake in the airport. This is welcome because it would help the people of Haryana.

The joint venture claiming stake of 24. 5 per cent each by both Punjab and Haryana shall reduce the burden on the Punjab exchequer in the development of the Chandigarh International Airport. Besides it will promote international trade, tourism, create job opportunities for the unemployed youth and help resolve inter-state disputes.


Case for TV regulator

Television has taken its place firmly in every home. The number of channels has also increased so much that some programmes go on round the clock. Ads, not suited for viewing by children and adolescents, eat up more than half the time of any programme. There is no consideration of the likely effect of such ads on the children’s physical and mental health.

Children’s mind is very sensitive and impressionable. They are getting crazy for fast food and junk food. These ads and serials directly or indirectly promote crime, especially crime against women. Children are getting obese. Incidents of violence in schools are also becoming quite frequent. Obesity and obscenity are the twin problems, the aftereffects of which can be dreadful.

Britain has banned all ads of unhealthy food products and drinks on the TV which are high in fat, salt and sugar. China has stopped all ads on the TV which are sexually provocative. It has also proscribed serials involving crime. Even ads for sale of ladies’ undergarments have been banned. Despite revenue loss, national interest is foremost with them. The Government of India too should appoint a TV regulator to screen the stuff shown on the TV.

V. S. CHAUDHRI, IAS (retd), Karnal



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |