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

Take precautions to avoid stampedes

The tragic death of over 60 persons, mostly women and children, in a stampede at an ashram in Uttar Pradesh reminded one of the painful memories of similar incidents at Naina Devi, Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur and Mandara Devi temple in Satara (editorial, “Yet another stampede”, March 6).

The editorial has rightly commented that it would seem that the concept of crowd management is alien to the government and it is innocent people who pay for this callous dereliction of duty. People gathering in large numbers where food and gifts are distributed free reflects the appalling state of poverty in our country and such incidents reinforce the need for the government to work towards eradicating poverty.

As in our country religion remains an important part of life it is but natural that religious functions draw a large number of people. However, most of the popular tourist and religious places don’t have the infrastructure to deal with the numbers of visitors.

It is the responsibility of the organisers to put in place suitable measures and deploy volunteers to ensure the smooth movement of people. In this context they can learn lessons on crowd management from the management of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar.

Devotees too should act with patience at religious gatherings and the organisers should also ensure security. To prevent any untoward incident it should be made mandatory for any private institution organising an event of such proportions to seek permission from the local administration. There should be proper coordination between the organisers and the local police force so that suitable measures are taken to ensure the smooth movement of people.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh


Such tragic incidents should remind the government to be vigilant. We must prepare ourselves against such calamities. It is the poor who  suffer the most. The tragedy that took place could have been avoided had the ashram administration  taken precautions.

When they organised a “bhandara” in a poverty-ridden area, they should have known that thousands will come to attend the function and could have informed the administration about it. Poverty is the bane of society and the government must eradicate it.

KAILASH GARG, Chandigarh

Defence needs

Inder Malhotra’s article, “Defence needs modernisation” and Col PK Vasudeva (retd)’s article “Budget denies defence its due” (March 5) have clearly brought out the inadequacies in our armament and battle equipment. The Air Force is short of fighter aircrafts and the Army lacks the much- needed artillery punch. The Army HQ had projected to the Ministry of Defence way back that the basic or field artillery gun should be 155mm. A few regiments do have 155 mm Bofors, yet there is an overall deficiency.

Brig JOGINDAR SINGH(retd), via e-mail

Women power

On Women’s International Day, let us accept the fact that women all over the world have made tremendous progress and have their own identity. They are breadwinners too. Still the mindset of our society has not changed with changing time and circumstances.

Many treat woman as weaker sex and find her an as easy target. People must realise the potential of women and change their mindset and treat the fair sex as an equal.



Women play a major role in building the future of the country. God has made woman because he cannot be present everywhere. Women are second to none and have been held in high esteem since ancient times. Yet even today abominable practices like female foeticide persist.


Clean railways

The rail budget says nothing about the cleanliness of railway stations which stink and look ugly littered with discarded plastic bottles, empty cartons, stained floors and pigeon droppings. The public address systems often are not clear.

There would have been no harm if a slight increase in fares and freight charges could result in better sanitary conditions in railway stations and junctions. Sanitary conditions even in major railway stations are deplorable. The announcements should also be electronically displayed.

KIRAN SHARMA, Sundernagar

Special students

The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directive to allow the scribe to do calculations for dyslexic children is laudable. It will enable such children to do better.

It is sad that schools need the directions of the court or the board to give concessions to children with special needs. We should motivate such students so that they become productive members of society.


Water resources

Punjab has entrusted the task of preparing a master plan covering water resources (both surface and sub-surface) for entire Punjab, valid for next 25 years. Experts from Israel’s Tahal consulting engineering company will handle the task.

The master plan will give advice or suggestions for the efficient management of water resources through the existing irrigation system, which is more than 150 years old, built during British rule.

It will not be an easy task. First problem is to find out what ails a particular canal reach. The master plan will cover salinity affected areas of Punjab also. How much time its preparation will take and how much it will cost should be made known. Let us hope the aged and ailing Punjab irrigation system is renovated with vision from Israel.

Dr G S DHILLON, Chandigarh



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