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Badal govt faltering again

Everybody knows that Punjab is on the brink of a financial disaster due to wrong policies of the government in the past. The SAD-BJP alliance has got an opportunity to retrieve the situation, but it has again faltered in decision making.

The leadership either does not want or does not clearly know how to make a compromise between fiscal ground realities and its political compulsions. The editorial Close to the edge (April 20) gave an accurate diagnosis of the state’s fiscal health, projected its ailments and their causes, and also gave a prescription for their cure.

It is high time the Punjab government stops splurging money on futile ventures, mulling over ridiculous ways to raise revenue and cut expenditure, and impeding its functionaries in the responsible performance of their duties. Rather, it should take a tough stand against all freebies and tax evasion, and invest savings solely on the growth and development of the state and its people.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur


It is a matter of great pity that Parkash Singh Badal chooses religion over politics as mentioned in Kuldip Nayar’s article Mixing religion with politics (April14).

Badal rushed to Delhi to see the President of India to make a request for Rajoana’s clemency although Rajoana himself wished against it.

Nayar has very rightly observed that when the state government itself becomes partisan it sends out a wrong signal. It was sad that pro-Khalistan slogans were raised in Gurdaspur where people assembled to oppose Rajoana’s hanging. The situation could have taken an ugly turn if Balwant Singh Rajona’s execution had taken place because the issue had taken a political and religious colour.


Multiple owners

The Himachal Pradesh government claims that the Army is an unauthorised occupant of the Annandale ground at Shimla since 1982 when the lease deed of the ground expired.

The land at Annandale ground belongs to various parties and not to the state government alone. A part of the land was owned by the erstwhile Gymkhana Club which further sold it to Lt Col RS Grewal (retd). A double-storeyed building having about eight followers’ quarters previously owned by the Gymkhana Club is still there on this piece of land at the northern corner of the ground.

Another owner of the land at Annandale ground is the Durand Football Club which it is understood is still receiving rent for its share of land from the central government.

Municipal Corporation, Shimla, is also stated to be the owner of a few bighas of land in the ground.

In case state of Himachal Pradesh is the owner of all the land or part of it in the Annandale ground, it should come out with ‘Jamabandis’ (revenue record) pertaining to the period 1930-40 and also for the current year to enlighten the public of Himachal Pradesh.

Ironically, the govt is claiming back the land for creating sports facilities, while the Army is also using it partly for sports activities like golf.

Natural calamities or hostilities by enemy countries, for which the ground is used by the Army, cannot be forecast. The ground must remain with the Army to enable it to embark upon rescue operations or providing reinforcement to troops without loss of time.


More PSKs needed

The new procedure adopted by the central government for granting passports is causing a lot of inconvenience to the applicants of eight districts falling under the jurisdiction of Regional Passport Office (RPO), Amritsar. According to the new method, an applicant has to fill in the application and submit it online.

The next step of booking a time slot for appointment with the authorities of the newly-opened Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) is the main hurdle. The booking of time slots opens almost daily at a fixed time. The rush is so much that all the slots are booked within a few seconds and bookings are closed for the day.

Only a few people get appointments and all others have to try their luck the next day. So the same cycle of paying visit to the counter continues for weeks till the visit becomes successful. But this is not the case with PSKs at other places like Jalandhar, where you get an appointment with the click of the mouse.

There are three PSKs for RPO Jalandhar and only one for Amritsar which is the root of the problem. More PSKs are need for Amritsar.


In sync with time 

Before July 20, 1969, man would not have believed in landing on the moon. This, and much more, seems mind boggling unless a person does not dwell deep into details (Prabhjot Singh’s middle “Generation gap”, April 24). It is said, “the man who does not read is as ignorant as the one who cannot read”.
But life’s basics, like goodness, compassion, love, truth, ethics, morals, etc, are as old as hills without a generation gap. The philosophy of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, et al, is still relevant today.

BM SINGH, Amritsar 



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