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Against the interests of the poor

It was heartening to note the powerful assertion of Punjab BJP Chief Prof Rajinder Bhandari and Mr Balramji Dass Tandon (in response to Dal Khalsa Jagran March) that “India was a sovereign state and all of its citizens were free to work and settle in any part of the country. Narrow politics could lead the country towards disunity and disintegration, which could not be tolerated and such moves from any quarter will be crushed with strong hands”. (The Tribune, Nov 3).

Yet, how about such divisive and disintegrating actions of other states of the country, including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan? In the light of the Acts of such states, debarring the citizens from other states to buy any property without approval of their governments, are we really one country and one people? Are we one India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari?

Will Prof Bhandari and Mr Tandon, shedding their own ambitions to draw political mileage out of such refreshing statements, act with the same grit and conviction against states that have already sown the seeds of disunity and disintegration? Why are they worked up in case of Punjab alone?

Even the states that have put such restriction do not realise that these curbs go against the interests of the poor who want to sell their properties out of need, because the demand remains restricted and they get lower prices. These states thus favour their rich at the cost of the needy poor.

All right-minded Indians, specially Punjabis, will appreciate their approach of ‘one country one people’ if they make it inclusive and do not restrict themselves to Punjab alone.

S.S. JOHL,Ludhiana

Isn’t it deliberate?

The more I deliberate over the problem created by lowering of the status and pay anomalies of the defence services and bring them at par with the police and the Central Police Organisations (CPOs), the more I am convinced that the web in which we find ourselves today is a deliberately created situation.

What do they indicate? The non-creation of the post of CDS, lowering the pay and status of Lieutenants-General below that of the Directors-General of Police, bringing down the Lieutenant-Colonels at par with the second in command of the CPOs by lowering them to Pay Band 3 and now the alteration of the definition of the rank pay in the Special Army Instructions are deliberate attempts to equate the Army with that of the police and CPOs based on the badges of rank worn.

It is another matter that the junior officers of the police and CPOs were allowed to wear badges of higher ranks of the Army structure, perhaps with a long-term intention of lowering the status of the Army and equating them with these organisations.

Does any one still believe that the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister are oblivious of the goings on? Are the meek bureaucrats capable of doing all these on their own? I think not.

Brig V. MAHALINGAM (retd), (On e-mail)

HC website

On logging to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s website, one finds 13 options for the general public. Of these, the most important one for the litigants is “Case information”. But this is seldom updated. As a result, the names no longer associated with the cases remain listed therein while those of new ones are omitted. Worse, the National Informatics Centre, which maintains the web, shows a red “Disclaimer” taking no responsibility for errors in it!

Visitors coming from far off places tend to rely on web information, but get disappointed on finding the changed schedule. Letters e-mailed on “Contact us” option of the website evoke no response from the authorities concerned.

V.K. KAURA,Panchkula

Not fit for his job

The bomb blasts in various parts of the country, the latest in Assam, show that Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil seems to be unable to handle his job well. Instead of working like his illustrious predecessor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he simply passes his time by pleasing his bosses like Sonia Gandhi.

When will Mr Patil call a spade a spade and work firmly?

S. K. MITTAL, Panchkula

No toll exemption

Some toll operators continue to charge toll tax from ex-servicemen by distinguishing them from defence personnel on the ground that they have retired from the armed forces. Section 3 (a) of the Indian Toll (Army & Air Force) Act 1901 provides for toll tax exemption on all public or private roads and bridges in India for armed forces personnel.

Yet, the National Highway Authority of India makes different interpretations of the provision. The Centre and the states should enforce the Act in letter and spirit and exempt ex-servicemen from paying the toll tax.

Capt JAGDISH CHAND (retd), Narola (Mandi)

Case for dual pricing policy

AT present kerosene is being supplied to the consumers against ration cards through fair price shops in Punjab. No kerosene is available for sale in the open market. The small vendors, tea stall owners and dhabawalas are in a dilemma: they have to either use kerosene illegally purchased in black market or domestic LPG cylinders which is also illegal.

The cost of domestic cylinder is about Rs 350 as against Rs 1170 for a commercial cylinder. The government should review its policy of kerosene and LPG. There should be a dual pricing policy for both these commodities, i.e. subsidised for BPL families and non-subsidised for the general public including commercial establishments, instead of domestic and commercial.




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