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

Ensuring probity in public life

According to the Constitution, a candidate must not be less than 25 years of age for contesting the Lok Sabha election. No upper age limit had been prescribed to restrain a candidate from contesting the election. There is retirement age for all classes of employees. The human faculties stop working efficiently after a certain age.

Strangely, the aging process has no effect on the physical and mental efficiency of politicians. The founding fathers of the Constitution had perhaps assumed that the politicians will themselves take sanyas after a certain age.

Again, a public servant when convicted by a court is dismissed from service. Why can’t the seat of an MP or MLA be deemed to be vacant when he is convicted of an offence? The right to participate in the proceedings of the House can at least be suspended for the period during the pendency of an appeal. Political parties should evolve a consensus on such issues to bring about probity in public life.

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

Water for thermal plants

Punjab has ventured to install several ultra-mega thermal power plants which will be supplied water by withdrawing it from the farmers. These power plants are to be handled by the private sector on Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis. It is, however, not clear how much water will be made available to each new thermal plant and what cost will be charged from the power plant owner.

The people are entitled to know how will the Punjab government supply water to the farmers from whom the canal water used at present will be withdrawn. It needs to be emphasised that the canal irrigation is almost “stressed”, having dropped to 28 per cent of the area being irrigated in Punjab.

Dr G.S. DHILLON, Chandigarh


Job evaluation

I read D.S. Reen’s letter, “Focus on job evaluation of officers” (Nov 17). His bias against the military is obvious. Military officers have to have a wide range of skills and technical know how. Army officers also exercise legal powers which are subject to review by high courts and, therefore, have good knowledge of law. 

In job evaluation, a whole range of issues have to be taken into account, including working conditions, management skills, technical know how and risk to life and limb.

Earlier, Captains and Majors used to be shifted as Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police and they met the job requirement in full measure. They delivered efficient, effective and friendly administration. Consider the situation now. Over 160 districts have no administration worth the name. Maoists rule the roost. The result: corrupt and abysmally poor administration.

Every district town elsewhere is a picture of sloth and decay. Law and order is poor, efficiency is missing and corruption is rampant. All these issues are the result of faulty evaluation of job content and do not seem to figure in Mr Reen’s calculations.

Lt-Gen HARWANT SINGH (retd), Camp: New York

Porous border 

Please refer to the news-items, “Sarpanch held with 14 kg heroin” (Nov 7) and “Cache of arms, drugs seized in Ferozepur” (Nov 8) of your esteemed newspaper.

It beats the comprehension of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) how on the 540-kilometer-long border between Punjab and Pakistan, with an impregnable barbed wire fencing, lighted at night, patrolled by the BSF, backed by the Indian Army, the Punjab Police, intelligence agencies such as RAW, IB, Punjab CID, Satellite and Air Force surveillance, any heroin, smack, arms and RDX can cross the Indo-Pak border.

It can only happen with the connivance of the forces and agencies charged with protecting this border.

The next question is what is the responsibility and accountability of the Union and Punjab governments?

Presently in every village of Punjab there is retail trade in contrabands of heroin, opium, smack, drugs, arms and RDX from across the border. Our party states this with irrefutable authority, unchallengeable veracity, and unassailable factuality and certainty.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Quilla S. Harnam Singh

Double standards

I have been closely following the controversy over the Mumbai police killing Rahul Raj. Clearly, he should not have been shot dead by the police. Any sensible person would have tried other methods to control him before resorting to shooting.

While the police takes no action against influential people for deviant behaviour, it treats ordinary people worse than animals. Does the police have one standard for the common man and another for the influential?


Accidents in HP

The recent bus accident at Lambidhar near Kufri claiming 45 people, is too shocking for words. The major causes of fatal road accidents in the state with alarming frequency are, drunken driving, rash/negligent driving, attending to calls on the cell phone while driving, ill-trained drivers, overloading and poor condition of roads.

We earnestly appeal to the transport authorities to ponder over these causes and take concrete road safety measures and help check the accidents.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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 |