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

Reduction in energy consumption imperative

This refers to the article, “Harnessing hydropower in Himachal” (September 23) by RN Malik and VK Tiwari. The writers have laid stress on hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh. Why are we running after more and more energy rather than cutting energy consumption through eco-friendly measures? Why are we getting so much dependent on energy and comfort? Hydropower projects have many drawbacks. They inhibit migration of aquatic species, which is important for biodiversity of the areas lying downstream.

Besides, building of large dams can cause serious geological damage. It alters the natural water table. The saying, “prevention is better than cure”, holds true for mitigation of environmental and human impacts of hydroelectric projects. It would be worthwhile to abandon projects when the environmental and social costs to be paid are high. Therefore, all options before a state should be considered before making a choice.

Vivek Sharma, Vice-President, Centre for Agro- Rural Technologies, Chandigarh

Onion prices

This refers to the editorial, “U-turn on onions: Government bows to pressure” (September 22). The decision to rollback the ban on export of onions just after a few days of imposing it leaves the clear impression that the government is being tamed by some mighty forces and it is moving at their will. The lobby of onion growers in the Nashik belt appears to be calling the shots and the Agriculture Minister is willingly bowing to the unhealthy and nefarious designs of hoarders and black marketeers. The most unfortunate part of this whole sequence of price mechanism is that farmers of this country are where they were, at the mercy of middlemen.

The people of this country seem to be the most vulnerable of the lot, whether it is the commodity market or the sensitive stock market. Indian markets are being bullied by the mighty players with strong financial muscles. Consumers appear to be in a pitiable condition. They helplessly watch the prices go up, rue for some time, and then accept the things as they are. The whole scenario of price mechanism is being controlled by the supply forces. If things continue the way they are at present, the days and times ahead will witness economic anarchy, and the consumer’s role will be marginalized.

SANJEEV TRIKHA, MM (PG) College, Fatehabad


It is quite surprising and puzzling also to know that the UPA government has lifted the ban on the export of onions. I agree with The Tribune perception that there was nothing like shortage of onions in the country and “Obviously, a shortage was created by cartels of hoarders and traders, who fleeced consumers”(editorial, “U-turn on onions: Government bows to pressure”, September 22).

The policy makers of the country should not presume that the citizens of this country don’t have any economic sense. They have enough common sense also to realize that if the government has a strong will power, it can certainly curb the prices of some food items at least, if not of all the commodities. Onions happen to be a staple item in our kitchen.

I fully endorse the observation that “the onion prices are still uncomfortably high”. It is really intriguing and shocking to note that the powerful onion lobby in Nashik has prevailed upon the Central government to lift the timely ban on export of onions. The ban had lowered the onion prices and tamed the powerful onion traders, who obviously enjoy political patronage in Delhi. In fact, middlemen and hoarders have come to control the levers of our national economy leaving the farmers poor and frustrated.


Press freedom

This refers to the article, “Defending Press freedom” by Kuldip Nayar (September 19). Freedom of the press is no doubt, very important. The press is mature enough to strike a balance between national interest and its own freedom and needs no outside intervention.

“Paid news” and commercial advertisements, seemingly different, have a common feature. While the former ensures publication of certain news items, the latter denies publication of some news stories to make space for advertisements. Sometimes, we find even full front page or back page sold out. There is a fear that the press may lose its freedom to corporate houses, if it indulges in too much commercialisation.

Unfortunately, space for genuine news is getting squeezed. I think the readers would not mind paying a little extra for their daily newspaper, but they would like it to contain more of news and views, less of advertisements and none of “paid news”.

Wg-Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

The Tiger of cricket

This refers to the news item, “Tiger of cricket dies at 70” (September 23). Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was popularly known as “Tiger” among the cricketers and fans of the sport.  He was admired for his leisurely style and dashing demeanour.

The credit goes to him for leading India to its first Test victory overseas during the 1967 New Zealand tour, and later to eight other victories. It will also be recalled how he overcame a severe challenge after losing one of his eyes in a car accident, not allowing the partial loss of vision to stand in the way of the tiger-like exuberance with which he batted, fielded and led from the front, placing the country above all.

Years after retirement, Pataudi retained a star’s aura. Pataudi’s death is the end of an era in the history of cricket, but he will be fondly remembered so long as cricket is played.




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 |