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

Interlinking of rivers a difficult task

Some areas are surplus in water whereas some places are drought prone. If surplus water can be utilised for a drought-prone area through interlinking of rivers, it could become a boon. The Supreme Court has done well to give directions to the government to constitute a committee headed by a central minister to plan, construct and implement interlinking of rivers programme for the benefit of the nation.

The interlinking of rivers is a utopian scheme. Its practicability, feasibility and economic viability have to be assessed. The scheme is also fraught with a number of difficulties and a solution would not be easy because “water” is a state subject under our Constitution.

The states with surplus water may demand compensation for the transfer of water from their rivers to drought areas. Three rivers -- Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, have already have been interconnected for optimum utilisation of their waters.

Before finally deciding upon various linkages, feasibility and economic viability of each linkage has to be determined. The interlinking of rivers is no doubt an ambitious plan, which requires a lot of effort and funds.

G R KALRA, Chandigarh

Unclean politics

Mahatma Gandhi’s moral authority could not isolate the Congress party from depravity (sinfulness). 86 years on, the party has been continuously falling from grace.

Former Congress president Sitaram Kesari, who had himself been questioned by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case, could hardly be “Mr Clean”. He realised that if he wants to remain the party leader, he cannot be fussy about scams or scandals. Even otherwise, it is not possible to wash the daub of corruption that has got stuck to the white khadi that most Congressmen wear.

Like the BJP, the Janata Dal, which was constituted in the wake of Janata Party, was also contaminated by the Congress culture of mixing power with politics. The Janata Dal was expected to provide a third force and retrieve the standards which the BJP and Congress have forgotten because of electoral strategies. Unfortunately, the Janata Dal did not rise above political comforts or personal differences. A party, whose president Lalu Prasad Yadav is an accused in the Rs 1,000 crore fodder scam, cannot claim to set examples of integrity.

Sadly, the failure of the third force reduces options before the voters who are sick of both, BJP and Congress. Most regional parties use similar slogans, their rule also reflects the same arrogance of power.


Humility speaks

I met the Army chief to-be Gen Bikram Singh for the first time in 2010 at Nabha during the 50th anniversary celebrations of our school. I was asked to speak at a ceremony dedicated to honour the support staff (‘Class IV’ employees in the Indian bureaucratic parlance). A stage was set up for the guests but all the Class IV staff members were seated cross-legged on the grass.

Gen Bikram Singh was also asked to address the gathering. Unlike all other speakers, he switched to Hindi to address the gathering, rather than the customary English, so that he could be better understood by the intended audience.

He acknowledged the services of the humble staff members by comparing it to that provided by his own parents in terms of caring. At the end of the speech, he did something unexpected of someone so distinguished. Wiping his own moist eyes, he came down from the dais and sat down cross-legged amongst the staff for a group picture. His simple gesture of humility touched all.


Not the reality

India is admired by outsiders for having a woman President, CEOs, top bureaucrats, Olympic winners, et al. This is the story of just a handful of Indian women. Even today the mass of women population is a victim of oppression and maltreatment at workplace and home (“The female factor”, March 12). National Crime Records Bureau recorded 22,172 and 9,961 cases of reported rape and sexual harassment respectively in 2010. It is only one out of the ten cases that is reported.

It is high time for the government particularly and we, the people in general, to make India safe for the fairer sex.

AASTHA BAGGA, Hoshiarpur

Avoid sops

It is learnt that the Punjab government is going to increase the retirement age of its employees from 58 to 60. In their manifesto, the Akalis had promised to give employment to 10 lakh people and government jobs to 2 lakh unemployed. By increasing the age of retirement, it will take away the chances of unemployed youth who are educated and have know-how of the latest technology and are more competent.

The government should curtail their expenditure on politicians, populous schemes like free water, free electricity, atta-dal scheme, free bicycles, disbursement in ‘sangat darshans’ etc. The interest of general public should be foremost than a particular group of people.

SP SINGH, Patiala


The ‘red beacon’ culture and the manned security cover to the elected legislators should be discouraged. Badal should give ministries to the chosen ministers as per their knowledge quotient relevant to the portfolio (“Man it right”, March 10). As SAD-BJP has clear cut majority, the chief minister need not “please” anyone. Sukhbir Singh Badal has worked magic with his political skills in bringing the combine to rule second time so need of the hour is to provide people efficient and clean administration with humility and accountability.

SUNDER SINGH GIANI, Dialpura (Mohali)

5-day week can save resources

In national interest, the Government of India should announce a 5-day week for government and private offices. It will reduce the use of national resources like power, water, manpower and other infrastructure in offices for 2 days.

It will give people more time to spend with their families which will make them happy. A happy and healthy body is home to a happy soul and happy mind. The overall productivity of the people will increase. People will also start spending more, consumption will increase. This way the government will have a win-win situation.




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