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

Shameful and degrading for defence personnel

Irregularities in the procurement of dry ration meant for the troops by — of all the people — a Lt-General? How disgusting (“Lt General gets 3-yr RI in ration scam”, Feb 19)! How very degrading and nauseating. 

Such acts of gross betrayal, meanness and dishonesty — luckily still rare in our armed forces — not only demoralise the rank and file of the Services but also project a poor image of the military personnel in the eyes of their countrymen.

While I, a veteran, hang my head in profound shame, humiliation and outrage at this sordid episode involving a Lt General (“For a handful of silver he left us ...”), my advice to him would be to sincerely atone for his misdemeanour by making a clean breast of it in public with a promise never again to betray the trust reposed in him as long as he lives.

The only saving grace of this sordid episode is that military justice, as usual, has been delivered with fairness and promptness (in spite of hurdles put and legal wrangling on the part of the accused), unlike the judicial system in the civil stream of the country which takes years, at times decades, for a case to be decided, much more so if any of the parties involved has a political/ bureaucratic clout or money/muscle power.    

Wing Cdr SC KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Aerocity plots

The Punjab government’s scheme offering 4,000 Aerocity plots to the general public at the rate of Rs 12,000 per square yard should have been used to rehabilitate the needy citizens. Instead, it has encouraged speculative business for realtors. Now it’s an open secret that realtors quote a price of Rs 25,000 to 30,000 per square yard for these plots. Realtors will pocket a huge profit due to the faulty system.

Recently, the DDA offered flats to the public. It asked for a photo copy of PAN from each applicant, thus obviating the chances of multiple applications by realtors and black money holders.

On the other hand, red cards of some riot and terrorist victims are being utilized by property dealers to get plots under a recent scheme. If one cross-checks these applications, one can find some riot victims applying in all the categories.  How can persons who do not even file income tax returns apply for 300, 400 and 500 yards plots. This certainly is not rehabilitation but speculation and gamble.

Let us make a PAN card compulsory for the Aerocity plot allottees and the new applicants under the riot victim and terrorist victim categories. Why should GMADA or the Punjab government encourage speculative business in its own schemes?

In this election year the government should be fair and judicious. It should take care of the larger section of society which really needs plots and not those property dealers and realtors, who want to profit from the government’s flawed schemes. I hope that GMADA and other housing bodies will not like to be partners in creating black money and encouraging speculative trading.

 G S GILL, Ludhiana

Ban plastic bags

The use of plastic carry bags is very harmful. Yet, all kinds of commodities are now sold in them. Even readymade tea is carried to many offices from roadside tea shops. Magazines are sealed in plastic envelops.

Most ready-to-eat items are sold in plastic bags and even kept in them  at homes.It is necessary to put a blanket ban on the manufacture of plastic bags. People must be warned about the serious health risks of plastic bags and should be dissuaded from using them.


Shift post office

The postal authorities have shifted the post office from a thickly populated area of Gurdaspur, Mandi side, to an area in the periphery of the city. The post office should be located in a better area with easy access.

A small letter box put up at the previous location of the post office needs to be replaced. The other day my fingers got hurt and bled while posting a letter. Seeing blood marks on the envelop, my friend called up. I told him what had happened. The postal authorities are requested to replace the box with a bigger and safer one.


Wasting water on cars

Car washing has become a menace in Amritsar. If you move inside streets in the city in the morning hours, you would see young labourers washing cars. The practice has some harmful effects: (1) a large amount of drinking water is daily wasted (2) all street roads are broken and have developed potholes due to the repeated pouring of water and seepage and (3) cars washed daily gather rust very fast. Hence, car washing on streets should be banned.


Foodgrain wastage

The editorial, “Move ahead on reforms”, (Feb 18), dwelt upon reforms, including the need to improve the infrastructure for post-harvest storage operations of food grain stocks.

Little seems to have been done to add to the storage capacity despite Supreme Court’s directives to save the stocks properly or distribute the excess foodgrain stocks among the poor to avoid rotting, treating it as a criminal offence. India wastes about 20 million tonnes a year, about as much as what Australia produces.

N C RANA, Panchkula

Gaping holes in bowling

Finally, a former cricketer of the status of Navjot Singh Sidhu has spoken the truth about the glaring weakness of Indian cricket “Gaping holes in India’s bowling” (Feb. 21). There is no doubt that Indian bowling lacks speed and bite and, therefore, a team like Bangladesh was able to score 284 runs in its ICC World Cup match against India.

 Without the right speed bowlers, other teams like Australia, England and South Africa have an edge over India and are able to pile up big scores. Relying on spin attacks as a strategy does not always work.

Pace attacks and not the spinners can help the Indian side achieve an early dominance on its opponents. If countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan can produce medium fast bowlers, why can’t India?




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