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

Ex-servicemen deserve a better deal

While making a strong case for grant of one-rank-one-pension (OROP) to the retired military personnel, in his article, “Raw deal for ex-servicemen” (Sunday Oped, May 23), Lt-Gen Raj Kadyan (retd) has brought out ample evidence to show how this demand — central to and necessitated by the ethos and singular service conditions of the armed forces — has been willfully scuttled over the years by the bureaucratic stranglehold.

We need to remember that disaffection and disgruntlement among the retired soldiers, sailors and airmen is bound to adversely affect the morale, discipline and professional competence of their counterparts on active service, a situation that cannot be accepted with equanimity. 

The defence forces — the ultimate bastion of a country’s integrity, security and democratic institutions — cannot be deprived of their rightful due and place in society and yet be taken for granted forever. Non-implementation of OROP may prove to be one of the last straws on the camel’s back.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida


The worst type of discrimination has been suffered by pre-2006 disability pensioners, which has not been highlighted in the media so far.

On representation from the armed forces, the Sixth Central Pay Commission had recommended that disability element of disability pension of armed forces be computed as 30/60 per cent of the last pay drawn for 100 per cent disability for normal/war injury as it was being computed for their civilian counterparts.

The government has accepted this recommendation in respect of post-2006 pensioners. However, pre-2006 pensioners are being given fixed amount as before, which is a mere pittance.

Sadly, the government is functioning like a discriminating business house which pays to its employees at its whim. The ex-servicemen need to organise themselves better and have effective ways of pressing their demands.

Lt-Col H.S. GUR (retd), Hisar

Tackling water crisis in East and West Punjab

Manohar Singh Gill has given an accurate account of the water crisis in Punjab in his article, “Water Crisis in east and west Punjab” (Perspective, May 23) due to depleting water-table and the consequent poor performance of tube-wells, the mainstay of the green revolution.

The real cause of this water and power crisis lies in the widespread cultivation of paddy crop which requires heavy irrigation for three months. The problem is identical in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh also. Haryana has come out with a novel approach to deal with this issue. The government increased the sugarcane price to Rs 250 per quintal. This decision prompted the farmers to switch on to sugarcane cultivation from paddy.

The problem will be fully solved only if the government brings out a notification allowing the farmers to grow paddy only on alternate years, i.e. ten districts in one year and the remaining ten districts the next year.

In fact, Punjab is more fortunate than Haryana because the seepage from the three reservoirs across the Satluj, the Beas and the Ravi does recharge the underground water considerably in the adjoining districts. Water harvesting and re-use of large amount of waste water (roughly 500 cusecs in each state) for irrigation can further help in stabilising the water-table.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd), Gurgaon



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 |