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How Indian CFLs are not safe

The news item ‘Hazardous mercury levels in energy-efficient CFLs’ (September 30) and the editorial ‘Handle with care’ (October 1) pertaining to high levels of mercury content in the Indian CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) was an eye-opener. CFLs made in the US and the UK have 4mg of mercury against 21.21mg used in Indian CFLs. Leakage from a broken or an improperly disposed lamp could adversely affect vital human organs like liver over a period of time.

It can cause neurological problems and is also harmful to pregnant women and children. The government should direct CFL manufacturers to use latest technology in the manufacturing process and use less amount of mercury. We have lead-free petrol, and lead-free paint, then why not CFL with least mercury levels? The editorial has aptly concluded that energy saving is laudable, but not at the cost of contaminating the environment and creating potential health hazard to unsuspecting consumers.


Village woes

Nearly 80 per cent of India’s population resides in villages, but the postal services in rural areas are quite unsatisfactory. A post office in a city or town is open throughout the day, but in a village it is open for three hours only, despite the fact that 2-3 additional villages are attached with it.

Every village does not have a post office of its own and most of the time it runs from a private premises. The post office employees are also part-time. This kind of disparity with the rural folk is unfair and unjust.



This is with reference to the news report ‘HC notice to Badal on water purifier’ (November 29). In response to a PIL, the High Court had issued a notice to the Punjab Chief Minister asking why ‘clean water’ is not provided in villages where ‘highly contaminated’ ground water is used for drinking. The court had directed the authorities to get an appropriate RO (Reverse osmosis) model of water purifiers installed. To combat cancer in the Malwa region of Punjab, the Punjab Government had appointed PSCST (Punjab State Council of Science and Technology) as a nodal agency to recommend an appropriate RO model.

PSCST further deputed an NGO Nandi Foundation to install some ROs as a pilot project in the Malwa region. The NGO had to submit its report on the functional use of the RO. No recommendations have been made public as yet.

Dr GS DHILLON, Chandigarh

Polite yet firm

The middle ‘Abrasive tongue, but soft inside’ by BK Karkra (November 30) was interesting and inspirational. There is no need to be aggressive when politeness works. Corruption is generated by arrogance or when a favour is demanded to put blame on another person. Arguments can be solved through a healthy and soft discussion. And when it gets solved, then ego breaks its walls. In the middle, the politeness of the retired police officer solved the matter so calmly that both the driver and the conductor realised their mistake and apologised. The writer has beautifully examined that one with an abrasive tongue can have a generous and soft heart inside.


Policemen as saviours

The police, presumably, is always at fault whenever it is in the news. I wish to narrate an incident which could help salvage the dismal picture of the police. While travelling from Panchkula to Ambala recently, I met with an accident trying to avoid a biker from hitting my car. My car banged on the divider with a loud thud and got out of control. I was in a difficult situation because it was late in the night and under no circumstances could I reach Ambala in the car and no repair shop would be open in the night.

I spotted a PCR Gypsy and approached it expecting some help to find a mechanic. The Gypsy driver, in uniform, helped me fix the problem to some extent and made the car travel-worthy. It goes to the credit of the policemen on duty that they went out of the way to help my family. This restored the lost faith that many of us, including myself, have towards the police.

They did their job honestly and sincerely and sent a loud message to the common man to approach the police when in distress.




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