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

Address safety concerns of people

This refers to the editorial, “Power and politics” (September 22). There is, undoubtedly, an acute shortage of power. Hydropower is being produced by exploiting waterfalls, wherever possible. Thermal power plants are also being set up. Coal reserves are, however, limited. Setting up of nuclear power plants alone can meet the shortage of power.

India had to work hard to become eligible for getting nuclear fuel from various international suppliers. Koodankulum and other nuclear power plants have to be constructed expeditiously. But people are scared of nuclear power plants, particularly after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Environmental and safety concerns of the people should be addressed. Environment of the area near the nuclear plant needs to be maintained pollution-free. Stringent safety measures should be adopted to avoid the possibility of any nuclear disaster.

GR KALRA, Chandigarh

US-Pak relations

The editorial, “US-Pak strained ties: Fight against terrorism may take new turn” (September 24), enunciates the deteriorating relations between the two allies.  For this situation the Pakistan Army is responsible. The US interests in Afghanistan are intentionally being harmed to force the US out of that country. Then ISI backed Taliban will be able to take control of the government in Afghanistan. This scenario should neither be acceptable to the people of Afghanistan nor to the neighbouring countries.

The US thinking to link the security and economic aid to Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting the Haqqani network and other terror outfits may be one step, but other measures have also to be evolved in consultation with other stakeholders, to fight terror. The US might have to delay its troop withdrawal from the Af-Pak region, which will be in consonance with the peacekeeping efforts.


Road mishaps

Road accidents in India occur due to poorly paid, overburdened, and inefficient drivers. Due to long working hours and low salary, this profession attracts only poor, illiterate and needy men .They have to drive the vehicles day and night without getting proper sleep.

No proper driving hours are fixed for the drivers. Easy availability of driving license, no concern for traffic rules, no check on those drivers who drive after taking some kind of intoxicant, no harsh penalty for breaking traffic rules, bad condition of roads, and irresponsible attitude of the drivers are some other reasons for high accident rates in India. The government should take the issue seriously to save precious lives of citizens of this country.


Railway route

The news, “Railway officials finally initiate demand survey in Paonta Sahib” (September 22), has come as a pleasant surprise to me. Unlike previously, the Himachal government should handle this issue seriously. They should provide sufficient supporting statistical data to the survey team enabling them to prepare realistic techno-economic-feasibility report for laying the railway line from Ghanoli to Dehradun via Paonta Sahib.

It may be recalled that a feasibility survey for this project, carried out a decade ago, was estimated to cost Rs 604 crore with the rate of return as (-) 17.03%.  But with the change in the dynamics of the region, the proposed route will link up the entire industrial belt in the Shivalik foothills, which is humming with economic activity.

The proposed railway link from Ghanoli near Ropar, should  link up industrial areas of Nalagarh, Baddi, Barotiwala in Himachal; Morni hills, Naraingarh, Raipur Rani in Haryana; Kala Amb, Dhaula Kuan,  Paonta Sahib in Himachal and Vikasnagar in Uttaranchal. All these popular industrial areas are flourishing as attractive business centres and they need fast and cost effective transportation facilities.

In addition, the proposed railway route is bound to serve as  uploading destination for horticulture, agriculture and factory produce, like apple, ginger, potato, fruit, vegetables, limestone, cement, other minerals, power-generation equipment etc,  from the hilly areas of Himachal and  Uttaranchal and in low lying areas of Haryana.

All the four beneficiary states may join hands to get this railway project approved in Parliament by jointly highlighting the significance and necessity of this long-pending demand of the people.

R M RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Sino-Pak ties

The editorial, “Growing Sino-Pak nexus: India needs to pro-actively contain it” (September 22), warning India of the impending danger posed by the growing bonhomie between China and Pakistan, was timely.

India can, of course, have no legitimate objection if China and Pakistan befriend each other to promote further their mutual interests. However, if their antics jeopardize the country’s security, defence and sovereignty, India has perforce to counter their nefarious designs in the larger national interest.

Expansion of railway lines, which will pass through PoK — an Indian territory forcibly occupied by Pakistan — and a network of oil and natural gas pipelines, also in PoK with Chinese involvement, are undoubtedly mischievous moves, which cannot be allowed to go unnoticed.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Making an honest living

The middle, “Teacher’s pet” (September 15), and consequent letter “Teachers’ pride” (September 20), aptly brought into focus the vital need of the revival of old culture of education, which laid stress on inculcating in the students the noble qualities of honesty, contentment and curtailment of desires. Along with their academic excellence, teachers possessed noble qualities, such as selflessness, humility, simplicity and diligence, setting a norm before their students through their personal example. Impressions received in early childhood from parents and teachers remain etched in one’s mind throughout life.

The venom of all-pervasive corruption can never be eradicated merely by better and more stringent laws. For that we must strike at the root of the problem, which is the steady decline in our moral standards and our being swayed by a wave of materialism. The process of reform can start from parents at home and from teachers in schools and colleges.

S K SHARMA, Panchkula



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