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Common man powerless, helpless

Power is an index of progress, a key to development. Its short supply in the northern states has made life hellish in the sizzling summer heat. Life of a common man has gone haywire. Power eludes people about dozen times in a day in the affected areas.

The editorial “Becoming Powerless” (July 4) throws light on the various aspects of power shortage in the region, causes of its dismal supply and steps to streamline it.

It is a pity that even in the 21st century we are at the mercy of the monsoon. It is stupid to justify power shortage because of increase in demand. What is the use of an umbrella if it is not available in the rainy season? Power supply should not be linked to the vagaries of the monsoon.

Let politicians and bureaucrats face power cuts for one single day. They won’t then make hollow promises of making Punjab a power surplus state within a year.



The power crisis speaks of poor management by administrators and lack of advance planning to meet emergency situations. The position further worsens due to the mess created by the politicians promising free electricity to maintain hold on their vote banks. All such factors add up to colossal wastage, leakage and pilferage.

There must be a stringent control on power pilferage by initiating tough measures so that common people don’t suffer endlessly in this scorching heat. It has been rightly advised that all possible energy sources like nuclear, solar energy and gobar plants should be utilised to meet the rising demand of power. The economic health of power corporations should also be improved for smooth running for power generation plants and maintenance of equipment giving uninterrupted power supply.

SC VAID, Greater Noida


Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit raised the electricity tariff by over 24% in a single go. She was vehement in remarking that this should have had happened at the onset of the summer season.

An average middle class India earns about Rs 10-15,000 a month and pays more than 20% of it as electricity bill alone. How would the common man pay for his children’s fee, rent and above all how would he meet the kitchen expenses.?



Weather cannot be controlled or regulated by any government or individual, but steps can be taken to neutralise its effects on the people. Whatever be the weather, it is routine to read news reports related to vagaries of Nature.

Mumbai is waterlogged every rainy season. Even a drizzle leaves the roads broken and muddy especially in rural areas.

Unscheduled and long power cuts in summer do not allow people to beat the heat. In winter, we do not have adequate measures to save the poor from the freezing cold. There is no proper drainage system in the streets to make the rainy season less troublesome. It is upon the government to provide adequate safeguards to the masses and ensure that the benefits reach everybody in need.

KSHITIJ GUPTA, Narwana (Haryana)


One fine morning, the central government wakes up to the need of a performance-oriented bureaucracy (editorial “Retire non-performers”, July 3). The idea is to streamline the bureaucracy and make it perform by throwing the non-performers out. The idea may sound very good but is not that easy keeping in mind the background of the working of the bureaucracy in the last six decades of post-independent India.

The politico-bureaucratic nexus is well known in every part of the country. The handful of the so-called smart civil servants specialise in bending rules to meet the political and economic interests of their political bosses. It is a pity that today one can see two groups of civil servants in every state — the first group that aligns with the ruling class is assigned coveted posts and the remaining civil servants are sidelined and not included in implementation process of the government.

No one in the Indian political system ever bothered to cultivated Indian bureaucrats as professional, honest and efficient civil servants committed to the constitutional and parliamentary laws of the land and faithful to the Indian masses. There is need of serious administrative reforms at the Centre and the states. The way business administration has created professional teams of executives committed to business houses, there is a need of committed civil servants for public administration.


Curtailing Freedom

It is quite intriguing that the Shah Commission report is missing from the South Block (Kuldeep Nayar’s article “Where are Shah Commission files?” July 4). This report must be traced in national interest as it is a dossier of common man’s resistance against the contemporary authoritarian regime. Nayar’s article symbolises cultural conscience, ethical commitment and boldness of convictions.

The ruling elite tried to muffle and crush the dissent of political opinion with a heavy hand declaring Emergency in the country in June, 1975 and the Shah Commission report was a true testimony to the happenings.

Dr RAJ BAHADUR  YADAV, Fatehabad (Haryana)

Foodgrain storage

One simple but effective suggestion regarding foodgrain storage space is the use of space under long road bridges. For example Zirakpur bridge near Chandigarh has more than 150 empty spans which are 30 feet tall, 50 feet long and about 30 feet wide. The space if covered properly can be used to store more than 30,000 quintals of wheat. Space under the bridges can be leased to the contractors who will manage the storage for the government.

BALDEV SINGH, via e-mail

Nation’s resources being wasted

Most railway projects are meeting a similar fate as mentioned in the news report “Rs 276 cr, eight years and yet no train from Abohar to Fazilka” (June 28). The 30-km Jammu-Udhampur railway line took about 15 years to complete. To get a new railway line in a state is hell of a job for any chief minister. All this is happening firstly, because the railway ministry has overgrown in size and secondly, it has never had a dynamic minister for a long time.

Mamata Banerjee virtually paralysed the railway ministry when she operated from Kolkata. An RTI information regarding TA bills of officials commuting between Delhi and Kolkata revealed that Rs 11 lakh was spent in a period of 2-3 months for this purpose.

Dinesh Trivedi wanted to push ahead certain reforms but had to face an unceremonious exit. The rate of electrification and doubling of tracks is only 200 km per year. Governance in the railway ministry will improve only when states are allowed to lay their own railway lines and run the railway service within the states and central ministry takes care of inter-state routes.




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