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

Making RTI effective

I read Darbara Singh Kahlon’s article, “Making right to information more effective” (Sunday Oped, March 21). The RTI Act, 2005, has become a powerful tool even for the illiterate people to get information. There is a need to remove procedural bottlenecks to make the RTI regime transparent.

Though the RTI Act will ensure accountability in public life and transparency in governance, applicants are not making best use of it. The Act has forced authorities concerned to maintain records properly and helped improve their functioning.

The Act has many shortcomings which go against the employees. Applicants send too many queries and unwanted questions. However, there is shortage of staff in all the Punjab government departments. Owing to the large number of questions, the staff are required to face court cases, Accountant General’s audit paras and RTI replies.

Some advanced countries who had implemented RTI have all information on the computer but most employees in India have no knowledge of the new techniques. The officers should be appointed PIO to deal with the RTI cases. Applicants who seek vague information should be punished.

There is need for some amendments in the Act to make it more effective.

KARAN, Chandigarh


A major shortcoming is the non-cooperative attitude of government officials who consider it a sin to provide information to common people. The writer’s claim that the RTI has made the administrative system more transparent, accountable and corruption free is without any factual base. To make RTI more effective, give State Information Commissioners more powers and make penalties for non-compliance more stringent.



The RTI Act should be amended making provision for compensation to the petitioner. It provides penalty of Rs 250 per day for delay in supplying information to the petitioner but this money goes to the government and not to the petitioner who pays for the information.

It is strange that the government charges money for supplying information to the petitioner and also pockets the penalty — the money received from the defaulting Public Information Officer.

R.M. RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Save hockey

I read Prabhjot Singh’s article, “Why is hockey ailing” (Sunday Oped, March 21). India is really in bad shape in World Cup hockey. It should have won the World Cup in India held after 28 years. Admittedly, we were not serious about the Cup. Worse, we could not even form a proper committee.

I endorse the view of Olympian Aslam Sher Khan that senior players must be inducted in the panel. Needless to say, honest and competent persons should be inducted in the team. Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill, who is honest and seasoned bureaucrat, must act and save Hockey India.

O.P. GARG, Patiala

Save the tiger

The article, “Tiger: On the verge of extinction” (Perspective, March 21) by Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd) was timely. Our national animal is on the verge of extinction. We have very few tigers today. Are the authorities controlling our forest reserves trustworthy or not? It is our moral duty to save the tiger at any cost.

We have lost a huge forest cover. It’s time to protect our national heritage. The government should ensure that our wildlife and forest resources are not plundered by the forest mafia.



It appears that the writer has skewed knowledge of Gurbani as Sabd “Ram Dass Sarovar natey; Sab Utrey Paap kamatey” is misquoted and misconceived”. Guru, Nahatey, Karratey is misquoted.

By bathing in the nectar-tank of Ram Dass all the sins previously committed are washed off with proviso that is explained in the succeeding verses of Sabd “Sad Sangh Mal Lathi; Parbrahm Bhaye Sathi” It the society of saints; man’s filth of sins is washed off and the Supreme Lord becomes his friend”.

Inderjit Singh, Mohali

Homage to martyrs

It is heartening to learn that a large number of visitors, especially youngsters, are flocking to Khatkar Kalan, Bhagat Singh’s native village, and that many youth organisations in the region are drawing inspiration from the legendary revolutionary (“Legacy of a legend”, Spectrum, March 21).

Bhagat Singh’s views on life and political philosophy can bring back the misguided youth in the region to the national mainstream and transform their life. The government should extend all assistance to youth organisations spreading the message of the great legendary.

Bhagat Singh’s reflections on life, social concerns and democracy while awaiting imminent death are testimony of a mind of the highest order. “Universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity — of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.”

Unfortunately, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s promise of a 100-bed hospital when she visited the village to meet the martyr’s mother in 1971 is yet to be fulfilled. Successive governments at the Centre and in the state have failed to keep that promise.

Lip service is not the way to pay homage to great martyrs. We can perpetuate their memory by taking up projects of social relevance.


Save the tiger for our own survival

The article, “Tiger: On the verge of extinction” (Perspective, March 21) by Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd) was timely. He has dealt with the subject comprehensively dwelling into the challenges to the survival of this beautiful animal.

The case of tiger depicts the story of our wildlife which is, unfortunately, not inspiring. Nature has bestowed this country with the best resources and yet we have failed as its trustees to check its ruthless exploitation and the legitimate rights of other creatures. Not just the government, the common man, who fails to raise his voice, also needs to be blamed.

We must save the tiger for our own survival. While tough laws to protect wildlife are welcome, their effective implementation is equally important.

Yes, more powers and immunity should be given to forest guards to tackle the wildlife mafia. Wildlife tourism should be banned as animals are no showpiece for entertainment. Additionally, special mobile courts must be established to deal with poaching and forest land encroachment cases. whose preservation should receive priority over all other developmental issues. Let’s make this a people’s movement.

ABHIMANYU RAJPUT, Ambala Cantonment



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