Farm research must suit local needs

The Punjab government has decided to send agricultural scientists for training to the advanced countries on the advice of the Punjab Farmersí Commission. Though the proposal is commendable, scientists will not be able to apply new knowledge and replicate new models here on return due to lack of finance and other facilities. Presently, research is suffering due to fund crunch.

We must develop our own research system suited to our local needs and indigenous knowledge. As most farmers are small and marginal, the research should focus on intensive farming systems with minimum use of chemicals. We should also develop research on Basmati rice, buffaloes and vegetables.

The banana cultivation in the state must be intensified. Before recommending a crop which cannot withstand the frost, the university should establish demonstration plots on its farms in each district. Otherwise, farmers will suffer heavy losses.

Dr RANJIT SINGH, Dean, PAU (retd),Ludhiana


End exploitation

I read the piece ďDalit Christians too need reservationsĒ (Dec 25). Clearly, the condition of the Scheduled Castes has not changed despite the enactment of two Acts removing untouchability. They have been victims of century-old suppression, depression, hate and inhuman treatment by vested interests.

They are subjected to all kinds of torture and brutality. They were also made to reside in places far off from the habitation of the exploiters without giving them any
proprietary rights. They were kept voiceless and illiterate.

After Independence, some constitutional provisions were enshrined which were not acted upon. The upper caste politicians have usurped the benefit of reservation given to them in the legislatures. As a result, their plight remains unchanged.

DALIP SINGH PANDHI, (Former Punjab Minister), Patiala

Bus stand problem

The Nangal bus stand, constructed in early eighties, was renovated in 2000. It may look attractive, but there is hardly any improvement. Car parking is permanently locked up and visitors have to park vehicles on the busy main road. Buses coming from Una still avoid the bus stand, causing inconvenience to those waiting for buses to Chandigarh, Delhi etc. They are forced to run with their luggage either to Rajiv Gandhi Chowk (near Truck Union) or outside the bus stand.

What purpose will the bus stand serve if people cannot board a bus there? Punjab Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal, who is trying to improve the state transport system, should examine this problem and redress the peopleís grievances.

T.L. SHARMA, Nangal Township

Funds hit schools

Reports that the Punjab government is funding school education by crores of rupees are misleading. When a government is in no position to give monthly salaries to its employees and does not lift the ban on recruitment to the posts of teachers in government schools due to fund crunch, how will it fund schools?


I-T rebate

According to the Income Tax Act, a Hindu undivided family includes wives and unmarried daughters and the incomes of all should be shown in the tax returns jointly. But almost all the employees whose wives are also in government service and living jointly enjoy tax rebate at both ends by submitting the returns separately. So, a single earning family member pays more tax than those in the category where both husband and wife are employees.

According to government rules, if the husband and wife are in service, both are not entitled to house rent allowance and medical claims; only one can get these benefits. So, why are they not showing their income jointly? And how can both claim the benefit of rebate?

RAM PRAKASH SHARMA, Sundernagar (Mandi)

Taslima episode

CPM leader Jyoti Basuís belated offer to welcome Taslima Nasreen back in Kolkata is a futile attempt to salvage his partyís image, which has been badly bruised by its compromising stand on this issue.

What had prevented the West Bengal government earlier from coming to her rescue? The Communists have let down even its supporters, leave alone others by dithering
on this issue.

People expected a party like the CPM to stand behind Taslima like a rock. Instead, it bundled her out of the state in the midnight under pressure from fundamentalists.

SACHDI  NANDA, Chandigarh

Why Congress lost Himachal

The Congressí debacle in the Himachal elections doesnít come as a surprise. The party workers knew that the Congress would be defeated at the hustings. It was not just the anti-incumbency factor, but also various other factors which worked for the defeat.

First, the state Congress leadership never worked in unison with the government. State Congress chief Viplove Thakurís utterances about the treatment of lower Himachal were contradictory to that of the government and these created confusion among the party ranks. The BJP used it even as a poll plank.

Secondly, the Congress high command leaders never interacted with party workers. With no experience of electoral politics, they failed to select the right candidates.

And finally, there was no rapport between the ministers, the legislators and the people. The ministers and the MLAs never bothered to respond to the letters of the people and resolve the problems of those living in far-flung areas.

L.R. SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)


No to cell phones

The Punjab governmentís decision to ban cell phones in government schools is welcome. Students bring cell phones to schools and colleges only for fun.

Whenever they get free time, they listen to music or send SMS. Mobile phones should be banned in colleges too. The ringtones disturb peace in the educational institutions.


No pension

The highly reputed, world recognised Punjab Agricultural University has been converted into a real estate. The Punjab Finance Minister has failed to give pension and other benefits due to PAU employees and pensioners. The Chief Minister and his colleagues know very well that no regime can deny this benefit in accordance with the rules. They should stop spending crores of rupees on other unnecessary things and give us our legitimate pension.

G.S. GREWAL, Ludhiana

Bengal on decline

What happened to the West Bengal of yore? Earlier, it was a state of intellectuals, men of letters, musicians, painters, sculptors and others. There were many ICS officers and professors. Nearly half the doctors in the Army were Bengalis.

There is also the widely acclaimed Bengali form of Art. People were thrilled to listen to the songs by Kanan Bala and others. West Bengal was once a premier state and I hope it will rise again.


Speed Post?

A few years back, the Centre introduced Speed Post with lot of zeal. The deliveryman would come in a well-marked vehicle of the Department of Posts and deliver the letter with a smile. This terminated the express delivery service. With the passage of time, Speed Post has lost its significance; Speed Post letters reach later than registered letters. Why call it Speed Post when it is slow?

On December 22, 2007, I sent a letter by Speed Post from the post office of Sector 35, Chandigarh (Receipt no spee770999044in) to Calcutta. The addressee got it at 4 p.m. on December 28 ó after a full six days! The Department of Posts may now introduce Super Speed Post so that letters reach within 72 hours anywhere in the country (this was indeed the goal of Speed Post when it was introduced). If things donít improve, private couriers will cripple our postal services.

Wg-Cdr J.S. BHALLA (retd), Chandigarh




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 |