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

Ex-servicemen await opening of polyclinic

The manner, in which the inauguration of the ECHS polyclinic for ex-servicemen at Shahpur was cancelled, left everyone shocked. This has clearly shown how politicians are playing with the Army. The ex-servicemen of Shahpur feel cheated. They take it as an insult of a serving General, a person who is dedicated to the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Had he been informed a couple of days back, the drama at Shahpur would not have happened

The staff for the polyclinic had been appointed. All other arrangements, such as that of medicines, necessary equipment etc, were made for the clinic. Nearly 100 serving soldiers from Pathankot and Dharamsala were stationed at Shahpur. They worked day and night with the thought that the polyclinic would start from 13th July, when it was supposed to be inaugurated. All the ex-servicemen were informed regarding the opening ceremony, and they had come from far-off places to meet the General and discuss their problems for which he had specially come. But nothing happened.

This gives a clear picture of the respect politicians have for ex-servicemen.

RAKESH KUMAR, L/NK, Dhanotu, Kangra

Age discrepancy

There was no “row” over the Army Chief’s age. (news report, “Row over, Army Chief to retire in May”, July 22). There was just a discrepancy, which needed to be set right.

If an applicant happens to mention a different date of birth in his UPSC application, which is not supported by his attached birth certificate or the matriculation certificate, will that date become the gospel truth? Why didn’t the UPSC authorities tally the two dates and ask the applicant to explain and remove the discrepancy? Isn’t it their duty to check the correctness of the details furnished?

Then there are other documents issued by different authorities, like a PAN card, identity card, driving licence, passport etc, all bearing the date of birth, which is apparently based on one’s birth certificate or matriculation certificate. Have these been checked, and do they all bear one date or different ones?

I think there is a need to go into the matter once again to arrive at the truth. However, the Army Chief himself, at least to some extent, is also responsible for the controversy. It is difficult to believe that he remained unaware of the discrepancy all these years. A timely action would have saved everyone of the unnecessary embarrassment.

Wg-Cdr C L SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

PPSC Chairman

This refers to the news, "HC enlarges scope of PIL against Dhanda (July 20). The Punjab and Haryana High Court should be applauded for staying the move of the Badal Government to appoint a just-resigned legislator of the ruling party, Harish Rai Dhanda, as the Chairman of the prestigious Punjab Public Service Commission.

The matter has been referred to a three-judge Bench for deliberating over the question of framing a due procedure for gauging the ability, impartiality and integrity of a person, who is to be appointed to such high Constitutional posts.

As the elections are just months away in Punjab, perhaps the government intends to appoint its close loyalist to this elite post for a term of six years, even if the ruling SAD fails to retain its power.  

HEMANT KUMAR, Chandigarh

An alert sentinel

The editorial, ''The more the merrier'' (July 21), rightly talked about the deluge of private universities in Himachal Pradesh. Its suggestion, to install a regulatory body for monitoring and checking the functioning of such private universities, was a good one. It seems the state government has acted fast by announcing such a regulatory body. The state government may have taken a cue from the paper. In any case, it is obvious that this newspaper aptly plays the role of an alert sentinel guarding the welfare of the people of this region. I appreciate this spirit.

KIRAN SHARMA, Sunder Nagar (HP)

Child sex ratio

The introduction of 3-D and 4-D ultrasound scans is a matter of serious concern because of alarmingly dropping child sex ratio (3-D, 4-D ultrasound scans make PNDT Act redundant,  July 23).

The PNDT Act has not been implemented seriously. It was shocking to know that the Central Supervisory Board set up to oversee the implementation of the Act, did not hold even a single meeting in three years.

The child sex ratio is adverse for girls, and this could lead to serious socio-cultural problems and population imbalance in the country.

The only reason for the reduction in number of girls in the age group 0-6 is the practice of sex selection through ultrasound scans.

The initiation of the NGO-PNDT scheme, with a vision to strengthen the partnership with civil society to facilitate effective implementation of the law, is a welcome step.


Pensioners’ plea

Pension should be disbursed a day before the first day of every month, as senior citizens are unable to stand in queues due to rush of customers in every bank.

Therefore, the Himachal Pradesh Government will do well to direct the officials concerned and the banks here to do the needful. This will be in the interest of all old and frail pensioners of the state.


Honour killings

You have quite rightly given voice to our sentiments in the editorial, “Washing hands off” (July 8). The cruelty perpetrated against young couples, and their gruesome murders by their own relatives in the name of so-called honour, are abominable. But the Centre and the governments of Haryana and UP have shamelessly shirked their responsibility to enforce the laws with an iron hand to curb this menace. The guilty must be punished so that it acts as a deterrent for others.

SK SHARMA, Panchkula

Work satisfaction

Harish Dhillon’s middle, “Poor ‘workmanship’ ” (July 2), aptly describes the deterioration that has taken place in our standard of work. I think it is due to the fact that workers these days have their eyes on wages rather than work satisfaction.

Here is quite a different picture. During pre-Independence days, once an Englishman ordered an Indian carpenter to make him a table for one rupee as wages. Finding him spending all his skills, the Englishman reminded him that he would pay him nothing more than a rupee. “You may not pay me anything, sir,” said the carpenter, “but I am not going to spoil my habit of working to my entire satisfaction.” Where have those days gone?

MK KOHLI, Gurgaon



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