L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Trams the best option for Chandigarh

After the success of Metro Rail in Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh have also hurriedly announced plans for considering Metro Rail for its cities without considering possible alternatives like tramlines.

While Metro Rail is a necessity for a city like Delhi with its long distances and its daily commuting population, this is not so for much smaller cities like Amritsar and Chandigarh. What is needed in these cities is a good, reliable and quick transport facility from nearer one’s home. The time spent in travelling long distances is not an issue here.

The city bus service, trams in particular, can fulfil this need well. As trams run on electricity, they are eco-friendly and can move from areas which have reasonably wide roads. Also because of fixed tramlines and the speed of trams, they are a safe mode of transport compared with buses.

The cost of implementing a tram system in a city will be just a fraction of the Metro Rail. Other than Kolkata, many European and American cities have trams as a means of transport. I hope the authorities concerned do a feasibility study for the trams before going in for the Metro Rail.



Why bullet trains?

Bullet trains are again in the news. When there was a proposal for a bullet train in the Ahmedabad region some time back, the Railways had come out with a report indicating that the bullet train project was an expensive affair. The report said that construction of a special rail track and related infrastructure for the bullet train would cost 20 times more than what is needed for an ordinary rail track.

In other words, with what we will spend on a 500-km rail track for a bullet train, we will be able to lay 10,000 km of rail track for ordinary trains. Bullet trains will cater to the needs of a very small fraction of passengers. Would it be advisable to invest so heavily for just a few?

I think, we should drop the idea of bullet trains. Instead we should lay dedicated ordinary rail tracks and use it only for trains like the Rajdhanis and the Shatabdis and for express goods trains. This will cut the running time of these trains and adequately meet the needs of those wanting bullet trains. This will also reduce traffic on existing tracks and thus add to passenger safety.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Responsible party

The editorial “Power sans responsibility” (April 2) criticised the CPM just for the sake of criticism. The CPM is a responsible political party. It has been supporting the UPA government despite so many problems.

It is due to the CPM’s farsightedness that the UPA government will complete its full term. Thus, the Marxists have helped in the national stability which is no mean contribution to the national cause.

The Marxist criticism of the Indo-US nuclear deal and the economic policies of the UPA government is on principle and not for self-aggrandisement like the other political parties.

AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith NSW (Australia)

Democratic values

Indeed, we have come a long way from our basic democratic values. Interestingly, the world’s big democracies are indifferent towards the issue of democracy in Tibet. Trade and commerce seems to have overshadowed even the basic values, which these democracies claim to represent.

Historical testimony shows that the silent voices have shaped the destiny, irrespective of the force with which they have been oppressed. Each one of us needs a space to live and breathe.


Try new method

The Punjab Irrigation Department, to combat waterlogging of Muktsar region, intends to adopt a new technique to water proof “leaky” reaches of the Rajasthan feeder and the Sirhind feeder. The new technique has not been tried in Punjab before and would involve an expenditure of Rs 650 crore or more.

The technique is known as “sheet lining” and will be installed without interruption of the flows of the canal system, i.e. without obtaining “long closure”. The work is expected to be undertaken on a war footing within two months.

Before undertaking this work, will it not be desirable for the authorities to test the technique on a pilot basis? Such a study would help Irrigation engineers to adopt the new technique in the situation obtained in the work area.

Dr G.S. DHILLON,Former Director (Irrigation, Punjab), Chandigarh

Draining crores on desilting

The Punjab government has been spending crores of rupees on desilting operations even though the canal systems do not produce silt warranting such a massive exercise. This has happened in the Patiala Feeder I. Plans are afoot for similar operations in the Kotla branch and Patiala Feeder II. The government would do well to stop this exercise and save precious money.

The canal systems, running for over a century, have been designed in a manner that there is neither silting nor scouring. I doubt the government’s claim that 4-5 feet of silt had to be removed from the bed of Patiala Feeder I.

During a visit to this feeder, I found no trace of any embankment of silt at the end of the 12-km stretch. Instead, there were heaps of silt in patches here and there, all of which hardly add up to even a fraction of the claimed quantity of 480 lakh cubic feet of silt.

Anyone can visit this feeder and satisfy himself about the genuineness of the official claims on silt accumulation and the wastage of money on desilting operations.

H.S. ROSHA, Former Chief Engineer (Punjab), Chandigarh



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