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Tackle drug menace on priority

The editorial “Drug mafia at work” (March 25) rightly observes that “there is a strong nexus among politicians, smugglers and policemen, which allows the illegal activity to flourish”.

The then Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo had disclosed some time back that narcotics worth Rs 5000 crore were smuggled to Punjab and there was a drug sale centre in every sub-division. He admitted that at times, politicians came to the rescue of the drug pushers, when caught by the police. The Amarinder Singh government took no tangible action.

According to a study, about 73.5 per cent of Punjab’s youth, aged 16-35 years, are addicted to drugs. These have ruined many families. Sturdy people become living corpses within months because of the excessive use of drugs. If the menace goes on, very few youth will find themselves fit for recruitment in the Army and police.

The state government should take firm steps to tackle the drug menace. Allama Iqbal aptly said: Nasha pila key giraana to sab ko aata hai/ Maza to jab hai ke girton ko thaam ley saaqi.



Protect wildlife sanctuary

The Tribune report that the Himachal government proposes to exclude the villages from the wildlife sanctuaries to protect the natural rights of villagers is alarming (April 3). The Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary near Dalhousie will be reduced from 69 sq km to 11.7 sq km!

This sanctuary is a great asset in this region. The Kalatope forest provides sanctuary for a large number of ghoral, bears, red foxes, barking dear, leopards, porcupines and many rare birds like the chir pheasants. These animals have no words to plead for their natural rights.

Besides, this sanctuary is a beautiful and extensive forest providing protection to the environment and benefit to the whole country. “The villages rights” will mean cutting motorable roads through the delicate hillsides and the gradual and irreversible urbanisation of this whole forest belt. The land will be sold out for commercial purposes.

Those who value nature should write to the National Wildlife Board to get the project shelved in the national interest.

JANE R. CALEB, Dalhousie (HP)

Vanishing villages

I read with interest Jupinderjit Singh’s article, “Vanishing villages” (April 5). The writer has highlighted the true picture of the agriculture land in Punjab, particularly Ludhiana. In the name of development and industrial isolation, the fertile agriculture land is being earmarked for the construction of big colonies and industrial hubs. This is not fair and its repercussions will be far reaching. Already the prices of food grains have skyrocketed and the farmers of the state have decided to hold back their crop of wheat and decided further not to sell it to the government agencies engaged in procurement.

The government should realise the gravity of the situation and take steps to save the maximum land for agriculture. Buildings are to be constructed, then horizontal constructions should be discouraged as food grains cannot be manufactured but can only be grown in the fields.

SANTOSH KUMAR JAMWAL, Chauki Jamwalan (Hamirpur)

Open the canteen

The CSD (I) Canteen of DSOI in Sector 36, Chandigarh, has been closed on the ground that it is not making profit. Latere authorities said that members wanted it to be converted into a health club!

The authorities have never visited the main canteen in Sector 21 to redress the grievances of the ex-servicemen. This has resulted in the canteen items finding their way in the civil market.

If the canteen at DSOI is incurring losses, closure is not the solution because all other canteens are making huge profits. Officers and their families can make best use of this canteen as there is great rush in Sector 21 canteen. The Command Headquarters should allow the canteen at DSOI to function as a welfare measure.

Maj NARINDER SINGH JALLO, (retd), Mohali

Meena Kumari

A rich tribute has been paid to Madhubala, heroine of Moghul-e-Azam, by releasing a stamp on her. Equally enduring is the image of Meena Kumari, of the Pakeeza fame. She was also talented, splendid and gorgeous. She had to undergo trials and tribulation due to her ailing health. This ‘Tragedy Queen’, as she was called, also deserves a befitting tribute due to her extraordinary ability, skill in acting and beauty.

CHAMAN SINGLA, Bhucho (Bathinda)

Enhanced DA

The Centre has granted an increase of 6 per cent dearness allowance to its employees and pensioners from January 1, 2008. The Punjab government follows this pattern. But the state government has delayed the release for reasons best known to it.

The Himachal Pradesh and Haryana governments have already granted DA to its employees and pensioners. I appeal to the Finance Minister of Punjab to release increased DA and help the employees and pensioners.


Alarming concern

The ground water level is going down day by day in Haryana and it is a matter of grave concern. There are numerous rivulets and streams in which water flows only in the rainy season. This water is not being properly utilised.

To make best of use of the rain water, small dams at a distance of one kilometer should be constructed so that the water can be stored there. The same can be utilised for irrigation purposes. The water will also go deep into the ground and will help increase the ground level.

RAM AUTAR, Yamunanagar



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