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Roads should be designed for travellers’ safety

The OPED article ‘Improving safety standards of roads’ (Jan 25) was quite noteworthy. Everyday a lot of people get injured and killed because of road accidents. These accidents occur mainly due to negligence and carelessness of drivers, lenient traffic rules, drunken driving and poor road conditions. Apart from following the basic traffic rules, a lot of other measures need to be taken.

It is equally necessary to have roads designed for safety. The authorities should have a relook a the programme of building new, safer roads, which do not contain accident-prone bottlenecks or dangerous junctions. Construction of short pedestrian crossings, wider side-walks and footpaths will prove beneficial for commuters.

Traffic signals must be installed at all T-points in order to prevent chaos and crashes. The slip roads must be constructed at a considerable distance from the traffic lights so that people do not have to wait for the congestion to clear for taking a left turn. Also, the police ought to be more strict in enforcement of traffic rules and there should be strict checking in the night when crime and road rage are at peak.

Dr SHRUTI K. CHAWLA, Chandigarh


The report ‘HC favours Delhi pattern in accident claim’ (January 23) came as a whiff of fresh air. Under the Delhi pattern, compensation is reportedly decided within a fixed time-frame without filing a claim petition.

In Himachal Pradesh, where road mishaps occur everyday, adoption of the Delhi pattern for awarding compensation to the helpless victims is a necessity. The state government/ High Court should do the needful without any further delay in larger public interest.

TARA CHAND, Ambota, Una

Legality vs morality

This is with reference to the news analysis, ‘The Twist in the tale’ (January 25), in which there is a mention of Attorney-General giving legal advice to the MoD. An anecdote from the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his style of dealing with complaints is pertinent to mention here. Gandhiji received a complaint on a postcard which read, “Mr X of your party has refused to return my amount which he took from me as a loan”. Based on the post-card complaint, Gandhi asked Mr X to explain his position. Mr X said, “I am not legally bound to repay the debt which I took from him as the promisory note/ MoU has expired”.

Gandhi immediately retorted, “Toh aap qanoon ki aar mein ikhlaq ka gala ghontna chahte hain” (You want to cut the throat of morality under the garb of legality). He asked him to return the amount or face expulsion from the party.

The authentic documents (MH records, school register, board certificate and IMA ID) based on truth have been rejected and statements recorded by others have been relied upon. The truth seems to have been buried under the heavy weight of law.


Honest leaders

It is an old saying that people get the government they deserve and when we are bearing governments on which we do not have faith, it means we ourselves are at fault. We are not electing honest and competent people. Therefore, institutions like the Lokpal would be of no help till we ourselves start electing honest and competent people.

Let us be wise now and think before we cast our vote in any candidate’s favour. If we do not find a suitable candidate, we can avoid casting our vote. This process shall compel the political parties to field capable leaders who can give us clean administration and good governance. The days of ‘yatha raja, thatha praja’ are not over.


Katju’s remarks

The Chairman of the Press Council of India and a former Supreme Court judge, Markandey Katju, has stated that Salman Rushdie is a ‘poor and sub-standard’ writer.

Katju’s views are based on utter ignorance of the English language and literature. He has no expertise in making such sweeping and baseless statements on one of the finest writers of our times. Salman Rushdie’s knowledge and mastery of the English language is amongst the best in our times. He knows how to tell a story and keep the readers’ interest intact through hundreds of pages. He also knows how to tell a story with unexpected turns, in brilliant prose. He is quite clearly the best writer we have read in the last few decades.

Rushdie is one of the most prolific and talented writers of our times and unwarranted criticism based on prejudice exposes the hollowness  of the critics.


Holy towns

The news report ‘Declare Shakti Peeth towns as holy towns’ (January 22 HP Tribune), has gone down well with the religious minded people. Jwalamukhi, being the centre of the Peeths, is one such place where one finds quite a good number of meat and  wine shops.

The holy shrine is thronged by hundreds of pilgrims every day throughout the year. If all the ‘peeths’ are declared as ‘holy places’, the unshaking faith and ardent earnestness of the pilgrims would be rewarded.

Moreover, the filthy bus stand at Jwalamukhi is in a very bad condition. The Bohan Bazaar is hopelessly narrow through which the state highway meanders its way. A pedestrian’s life is at stake while passing through the bazaar. The administration should not ignore these problems.

RAVI DATAA, Jawalamukhi, Kangra

Doc’s Midas touch!

A doctor’s qualities do not only include treating and healing a patient at a physical level, but more important is the Midas touch which works at a psychological level which speeds up a patient’s recovery.

The middle ‘To my doctors with love’ (January 26) has very aptly described the qualities of a good physician. In today’s materialistic world, every individual is hankering after amassing money without caring for his duty.

Besides this, the pious profession of a doctor has an additional duty towards his or her patients for whom he is not less than an angel who saves lives.




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