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Indian Railways needs proper management

It is disappointing that the Indian Railways has once again drifted into the failure zone (Poor state of Indian Railways, October 5). The causes given in the article do not seem to explain the sudden drift of this giant organisation into such heavy losses. It is rightly said that it takes years to build something, but only a few seconds to demolish it. This might be true in the case of the Indian Railways also, which was in a dynamic shape under the able leadership of Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Nothing substantial has happened for the Railways, except the change of persons at the helm during these three or four years of the UPA-II regime. This suggests that it is entirely a management game which is responsible for the then upward and today’s downward trend experienced by the Indian Railways.

The causes given by the writer can only have an impact in the long run. Such causes cannot make instant impact on the profitability and overall working of any system. The article gives us the impression that it is not the dearth of resources, but mismanagement and ineffective implementation of programmes and policies which are responsible for the present downward slide of the Indian Railways.


Estranged partners

This refers to the editorial, US-Pak strained ties (September 24). Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, openly accused Pakistan of playing double game in fighting terrorism. This remark irritated the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and she said that the US might lose an old ally if it continued to suspect Pakistan’s intentions.

There is no doubt in the fact that both Pakistan and the US need each other in this fight against terrorism. Their association has stood the test of time. It is necessary for them to stand together and not create an atmosphere that might encourage terrorists to regroup and wage war against other countries. Their friendly relations will make it possible to win this war against terror.


Dumping woes

If Chandigarh is a beautiful city, Hoshiarpur is the dirtiest. Every nook and corner in the city is full of garbage. The city has turned into an eyesore due to the absence of areas earmarked for dumping garbage. Safai karamcharis are at liberty to dump garbage anywhere they want. The drains are cleaned only once in two months. The mud taken out during the cleaning operation is allowed to remain near the drains. Generally, sewage lines remain blocked.

Though the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued strict orders to civic bodies of Punjab to remove all encroachments, nothing has been done in this regard, and the encroachments are increasing.


BJP’s position

Your editorial, BJP’s power games (October 3), has shown a mirror to the BJP. With its umbilical chord attached to the RSS, the BJP has remained tenuously without a direction of its own. The Hindutva slogan could not sustain the BJP in power beyond 2004, and in 2009 its disillusionment was complete. Attempts to regain an identity of its own have been overshadowed by internal skirmishes within top leadership. That it exists today as a political force, is more due to an inept UPA-II government than its own efforts.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat has realized that vacuous speeches by BJP leaders at his sadbhavana rally, have neither added feathers to his cap nor won him friends. On reflection, he did well to abstain from the two-day BJP national meet. It is now left to the old hand, Advani, to start his yatra from Bihar and not Ahmedabad, in an effort to pacify the NDA allies, post the recent Modi show. The BJP has gained neither stature nor strength after 2009. It has only managed to strain its vocal chords all this while, to little advantage.

R NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad

Misuse of antibiotics

This refers to the news item, Antibiotic consumption rising at 7% a year by Aditi Tandon (October 6). While it is good on one hand, because it indicates higher incomes, better healthcare and more access to life-saving treatment, on the other hand it is also problematic because it is leading to drug resistance.  However, we cannot restrict the use of antibiotics in peripheral areas of the country, where even doctors are not available.  How can the benefits of antibiotics be denied to the rural people, who do not have doctors available to prescribe them? 

But, there is a need to regulate the use of antibiotics. Before that, it is necessary to make a thorough study of the various measures to reduce the use of antibiotics.

 HARISH DIDO, Chandigarh

Indo-Pak trade

This refers to the editorial, Pakistan’s positive move: MFN status for India will boost trade (October 5). Pakistan has understood the fact that boosting trade with India will help its economic growth. By giving India the MFN status, Pakistan will be able to raise the standard of living of its own people. Such a move will ultimately help in strengthening Indo-Pak relations in the subcontinent. Thus, peace between the two neighbours will become a reality.

However, the process of talks between the two countries must also continue. India must also appreciate Pakistan’s move in this direction.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Power supply

I endorse the views of the writer that uninterrupted power supply at affordable prices is the prerequisite for the development of any economy (Power pangs of Punjab, October 4) . For a country like India, which is heavily dependant on the import of fossil fuels, the generation of electricity should be increased to meet the ever-growing demand. This is necessary for a state like Punjab, where industries are in a precarious condition owing to the indifferent attitude of successive state governments and a stubborn bureaucracy.

All government departments view the industries only as a revenue-generating sector for the state exchequer and for themselves. But when it comes to redressing their genuine grievances, they take shelter behind cumbersome rules and regulations. The government should seriously consider solving the various problems being faced by the industries, and start with an improvement in electricity supply and that also at affordable rates, so that the industries could compete with other countries.

ARVIND DHUMAL, Advocate, Jalandhar

To buffalo, with love 

This refers to the middle, Love me, love my buffalo! (September 13). Though the narrative is humorous in tone, as an insider I can fully relate to it. As a teenager, I have seen my grandmother slog the whole day for her ‘black beauty’. She would walk for miles with her buffalo in the absence of any transport facility. My grandmother would get up early in the morning to look after her ‘treasure’, the buffalo. The title, “Love me, love my buffalo”, is an apt one, and it makes me nostalgic, as the animal was my grandmother’s pride and her neighbour’s envy. Those of us, who love buffaloes, would relate to this piece of writing.

ANJALI SHARMA, Dagshai Cantt



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