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Free power an expensive proposition

Not giving free electricity to farmers is understandable as an economic reality (“No Free Power”,15 March). Why did the SAD-BJP combine make a promise when it was difficult to honour it? Is the alliance not dishonouring its commitment, for which the farmers voted it to power? How will the bills paid by the farmers be reimbursed? Where will the money come from? If the government shall reimburse the farmers, then why this jugglery?

The SAD government must understand very clearly that backtracking from such vital promise shall be suicidal. It could have managed this easily had it practiced austerity on itself by shedding Parliamentary Secretaries, not enhancing the pay and perks of legislators, effectively plugging the leakage of revenue, gainfully utilising land holdings, closing loss-making public undertakings, attracting more and more foreign direct investments, boosting agriculture and industrial production, etc.



Since the Punjab government banked heavily on the freebies to remain in power, the farm sector being the biggest vote bank, the free power sops wrought a colossal loss to the PSEB, which is on the brink of bankruptcy. The reckless use of free power caused damage as water table went abysmally low. It is the right decision to charge for electricity supply from one and all. However, power theft too must be stopped resolutely. Then and only then can the PSEB stand on its own feet.



This decision will improve the financial position of PSEB, stop miss-utilisation of free power and help to alarming decline of water table in the state. It is a good decision to cover the supply and demand gap.


A pinch of salt

It is really surprising and astonishing fact established by the studies that “reducing the amount of salt people eat, even by small amounts, could reduce cases of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks as much as reduction in smoking, obesity and cholesterol levels” (“Salt ban battle takes shape in New York,” by Rupert Cornwell, March 13).

What action are we taking to make people aware of the consequences of too much intake of salt? It is an old saying that what Americans do today, we do that only after 10-15 years. Campaigns should be started in the media by the State Health departments to make people aware of the negative impact of salt intake. We must also rise today and start printing warning ads on salt packets.

KAILASH GARG, Chandigarh

Mamata’s flip-flop

The editorial “Mamata’s theatrics” (March 11) has rightly pointed out the flip-flop and immature behaviour of Ms Mamata Banerjee, a senior Cabinet Minister. She is only a political storm trooper and good sense prevails upon her only after she has made a tamasha of herself as well as the government she represents.

Perhaps she wants the Prime Minister to come to her each time with folded hands for cooperation. She should behave properly and record her dissent wherever necessary.

B D GAUTAM, Shimla

No Bill for their woes

Why so much ‘shor’ on the Woman’s Reservation Bill? A random oral survey of housemaids that work part-time in various flats in and around our vicinity, from early morning till late evening, seven days a week, showed appalling facts.

A minimum of 33 per cent of their drunkard husbands do not work at all and live off their income. They often turn wife-beaters if these hapless women, each rearing at least four to five children, refuse them money to buy their daily quota of alcoholic drinks. Not only this, these women are provided with some relief only by their female children, who work as substitute-workers. Who allowed this ‘reservation’ where women outnumber men?

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Speaking it right

Our touch with the world around us revolves around communication, and IM Soni beautifully describes the art of conversation in his middle “Sparkle in speech” (March 12). The way we speak, listen to others, pass on messages has a deep impact on our daily lives.

A well-meaning message, if not communicated properly, can do more harm than good. Saying the right thing at right moment holds the key to good communication. Today we may have latest technology in communication, but it is the human voice which is central to all communication even today.

It is through a well modulated voice that we can express our emotions, which a printed word, be it an SMS or an email fails to put through. We should be charming and should not use harsh words for anybody. Swami Vivekananda said “Say good words to even your greatest enemy.” Guru Nanak also stressed upon the virtues of speaking politely. Rightly said our words should be of velvet and our thoughts of steel.


Blame-game over price rise

Your editorial “Politics of price rise” (March 8,) squarely blames the Centre and the states for the sky-rocking prices, especially those of food items. Painfully enough, instead of making joint/coordinated efforts to tackle the problem, the Centre and the states seem engaged in a mindless blame-game.

As the editorial points out, the states have not taken any significant steps either to check hoarders and speculators or remove glitches in making subsidised food available to the poor, thus aggravating the matter. The states ruled by Opposition parties seem brazenly engaged in exploring the unhappy situation to score brownie points against the Centre. The ruling BJP in Himachal Pradesh, for example, staged a “tamasha” at Shimla the other day rather than asking the state government to take some constructive steps to contain the growing menace. What a sad/nasty brand of “Politics of price rise”, indeed!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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