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Land sharks gobbling up Chandigarh

Chandigarh is the nucleus around which all types of constructions are going on with the connivance of politicians, bureaucrats and business tycoons (editorial, HC breather for Sukhna”, Mar 16). Mohali and Panchkula are expanding too. Besides insatiable appetite of PUDA and HUDA to convert agricultural and forest land into concrete jungles, the land mafia has grabbed every inch of land in the periphery of Chandigarh to develop colonies and have asphyxiated the City Beautiful.

The Tata Camelot housing project was planned near the Sukhna Lake. Many bigwigs have a stake in this project and wanted to make it a successful venture.

Due to the intervention of the well-wishers of the city, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has done well to stay the project. The green area around the Sukhna Lake is important to save the city from choking due to high density of population and vehicles.


Noise pollution

The government of India has declared an area of 100 meters around hospitals, education institutions, courts and religious places as “silent zones”. The Supreme Court has banned noise pollution around the silent zones. But these directions are not followed by vehicular drivers and the public in general is not aware of these directions and the harmful effects of noise pollution on the mental and physical health of the people.

In developed countries, use of horn by a vehicular driver is taken as an insulting gesture but the people in India are totally insensitive to the menace of noise pollution. Vehicular drivers, especially of heavy vehicles, openly use pressure horns without any fear of the authorities concerned.

All NGOs must start a statewide campaign to sensitise the violators on this health hazard.

Dr DS BHULLAR, Patiala

Electoral reforms

V Eshwar Anand’s article Impetus to democracy: Renewed focus on electoral reforms (Mar 14) was timely and thought-provoking. However, candidly speaking there is nothing new about the electoral reforms discussed in the article. In fact, the reforms in question have been mooted for a long time. The powers that be seldom betray the requisite will to implement them.

The writer seems unduly over-optimistic about the outcome this time. To my mind, unless some cataclysmic change takes place or some Messiah appears nothing is likely to happen.

TARA CHAND, Ambota, Una

Nuclear safety

The editorial Lessons from Fukushima (Mar 16) raised a pertinent issue of framing and implementing stringent guidelines for the operation of nuclear power plants. The catastrophic aftermath of nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan presents a strong justification for such safety concerns. This is even more important in countries like India which has poor industrial safety records and problems with political corruption.

We are facing serious, imminent challenges in energy security and global warming. Nuclear energy has great potential in coping with such challenges if it is properly introduced and operated. The nuclear power is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. Nuclear power produces virtually no air pollution, in contrast to the coal and other oil operated power plants. It is only a viable course to achieve energy independence for developing countries like India.

The nuclear power plants should be based on advanced technology and located away from high seismic zones. Apart from having mock emergency drills, upgradation of disaster management systems in India is also required.


Chillar massacre

The cruel killing of 32 innocent Sikhs including women and children at Chillar village of Rewari district was a heinous crime (editorial, Dastardly carnage: Justice delayed, but should not be denied, Feb 25). However, only three Sikhs were shown killed in Haryana in the 1984 violence. Was it not a shocking travesty of facts and a cruel joke?

Apparently, the police failed to apprehend the culprits. What is intriguing is that the Lok Dal MLA, Sujan Singh, raised the issue in Haryana Vidhan Sabha in 1985. No follow-up action was taken.

The Bhajan Lal government had incurred the wrath of the Sikh community after its members passing through Haryana were humiliated during the 1982 Asian Games. What is more, not only the FIR lodged with the police is missing even the fate of the post-mortem reports is not known. It is time that the culprits were punished.


Sycophancy pays 

Pritam Bhullar in his interesting article On the wings of sycophancy (Mar 18) builds up an impression as if sycophancy is a new trait of human’s communicative craft. No, it is not so. Sycophancy is as old as the race of human beings on this earth. The primordial primates eulogised the strong and the powerful around them to ensure the security of their lives and limbs. They did the same to the inscrutable, the gods and the deities.

Times have changed now and with the passage of time, this craft has developed into a powerful medium of influencing people and making friends. Interesting tales of sycophancy of great artists of yore of this genre are still remembered. Such artists even adorned the courts of Rajas and Nawabs as regular functionaries among other high and mighty. A Raja’s sycophant courtier’s famous dialogue Ham raja ke naukar hain, baingan ke nahin is still recounted with hilarity. So is remembered a sycophant lover’s witty retort Gar Laila pyari hai to Laila ka kutta bhi and is used on apt occasions. Sometimes, an overdose of sycophancy costs dearly.

L R SHARMA, Haripur, Sundernagar



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