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Public health in a state of neglect

It is a matter of concern that the State has been abandoning its primary duty of taking care of the health of its subjects. Four basic services, which include employment, housing, education and health, are the fundamental duties of any State. Leaving these to the whims and fancy of the corporate world, whose only aim and motive is profit, is nothing short of dereliction of the State’s primary functions.

Neglect of any of these fundamental duties could create an internal danger. As the writer (At The Cost of Health, Feb 23) has amplified every aspect of disregard in the field of health services, it is suggested that the State should formulate a scheme to open at least one medical college and hospital at the headquarters of each district of the country. To finance such a scheme, health tax be levied, alongwith service tax or income tax.



The ever-increasing and unaffordable cost of medical care in India, especially that provided by private hospitals, has become a cause of worry for most Indian citizens. Except for those covered under medical insurance and other organisational schemes, the general public is left with no alternative but to bear the brunt of disease and disability.

Majority of the hospitals fleece the patients with unwanted investigations and operations. There is an urgent need for government to look into the issue of providing cheap and efficient medical care especially for general and poor patients.

Brig HS SANDHU (retd), Panchkula

Make deal public

The government is maligning the image of scientists in the country. The resignation of space scientist Roddam Narasimha in protest against the blacklisting of former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair and three other scientists is very shameful. The government should come out and make public the Antrix-Devas deal.


Emotional bond

The naming of a road in Pakistan after an Indian is an exemplary step. It speaks volumes of the groundswell of emotional bonds between people of the two countries.

It is said that we can't choose our neighbours, but what we can choose is to live like friends. Bashir Badr says," Dushmani ka safar ek qadam do qadam,Tum bhi thak jaogey hum bhi thak jayenge".

 Pakistani poet Daman had famously said about the tragedy of partition, "Jaagan walian raj ke luttiya ei,Soye tusin wi 'o soye asin wi aan,Laali akhyian di payi dasdi ei roye tusin wi 'o roye asin wi aan".


Common man hassled

Every time movement of trains is stopped on the ‘soft tracks’ the interest of ‘aam aadmi’ is at stake who loses a chance to meet his dear ones or is unable to attend office or reach for an interview. The VIPs who either use the Rajdhani or the Shatabdi or air dash on planes are not affected. The strongly-worded editorial ‘Jat politics’ (February 22) exposed the reasons behind inaction of the state government.


One-month sabbatical

A month’s gap between voting and counting of votes can not be considered as a good electoral practice. Governance of the states which went to polls in January is in a ‘coma’. Poll results of one state can not impact voting pattern of another state. Every state has its own issues. If in Punjab, Congress emerged as the winner consequent to immediate counting, it would have no impact on UP where it is a four-corned contest. Democracy is a means to good governance but it is not an end in itself.


Policing the police

The functioning of police stations in Himachal Pradesh leaves much to be desired. The public at large, who have to bear the brunt of untoward incidents, are a harried lot. Utmost care must be exercised while selecting Station House Officers (SHOs). Refresher courses must be held periodically for them to update their professional skills.

The district police chief must be held accountable in case of misconduct on the part of SHOs within his jurisdiction. The police stations must be insulated from political interference in their day-to-day functioning.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Declare expenditure

Given the way our politicians mislead the public on the matters related to financial status, the EC should also make it mandatory for the ruling party to declare a clear picture of the health of the finances of the state before the elections. The voters should have a clear picture of the actual financial condition of the state so that they are not misled by useless and false propaganda. Going by the news report 'Bills worth Rs 1600 cr pending as Punjab's fiscal woes worsen' and other such reports, the finances of the state appear to be in doldrums. There is a need for audits every year.


Toll tax pinches pocket

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is doing a wonderful job by providing excellent world-class roads to the passengers travelling daily on these roads. In order to maintain them, the authority imposes a huge amount of tax (toll tax) on the travellers which is a burden on the growing middle class. Why should the government charge this tax when we pay road tax at the time of registration of a vehicle? The NHAI should collect a nominal toll tax. Toll tax is being collected at various points within a state. Personal vehicles should be exempted from this tax, while commercial vehicles can be charged.




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