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Regularising colonies at cost of public money!

The Haryana government’s decision to regularise hundreds of colonies that were set up as agglomerations in an unauthorised manner in various urban areas of the state seems to be politically correct for the Congress party in the state and a welcome step for many people. But its implications for the health of urban settlement and long-term well-being of the people will get ignored in its implementation, as aptly brought out in the editorial The Hooda colonies (July 6).

Stopping the growth of unauthorised colonies seems not to have worked because of certain lapses in implementation of the policy in this regard and leniency of the officialdom whose responsibility was to see that colonies do not come up illegally or in an unauthorised manner.

Municipal Corporations have to earmark substantial amount of money for making provisions of roads, electric and water supply, health centres, neighborhood schools, transport facilities, fire fighting and prevention and public building for community services and, of course, police posts for overseeing law and order.

For these services, the expenditure is always charged from the state exchequer for which other people have to indirectly pay as taxes as and when this kind of decision is taken.

HUDA has spent billions of rupees in the last two-and-a-half decades on acquiring agricultural land around big towns and developing them into planned urban estates on the promise of offering improved quality of life but at a substantial price which only a few can afford from legal means.

The service class is almost broke as major portion of the salary goes towards repayment of housing loans taken from corporate banks that never seem to diminish.

Here, the issues that have stuck the ground against scientific development in urban areas is lack of political will; indifference of the people in recognising the utilisation of space and ambient environment in face of upcoming settlements; blind emulation of the western forms and style of architecture; casual treatment to surrounding spaces and utilisation of government facilities and above all the occidental way of tolerating filth and condensed way of living.




Illegal colonies are committed vote banks in our democratic set-up. The editorial gives a realistic picture of violation of law just to create popular support. Touts as realtors purchase agriculture land at throwaway prices and with the connivance of the administrative setup build colonies and sell houses and plots to gullible buyers at exorbitant rates. All colonisers with political links go in for this tested modus operandi to earn crores. Big colonies have mushroomed around cities and towns with the connivance of politician-bureaucrat nexus. The law makers become law breakers to satiate their lust for power and money.


Scheme going haywire

After reading the article Mid-day meal scheme starved of funds (July 6), one may conclude that it is a very beneficial scheme but the situation is quite different on the ground. The aim of the scheme was to entice the poor to send their children to school. Instead of spending too much on this scheme, the money should be used for betterment of infrastructure in schools. The one and only job of schools is to provide good education. Also, precious time of teachers is being wasted on food management and distribution. Some government employees have turned this scheme into an additional source of income.



Although the mid-day meal scheme in India has arrested the declining dropout rate in schools as mentioned in the editorial ‘Mid-day pangs’ (July 7) it can be replaced with breakfast meals. Breakfast is a good hope than a bad lunch or supper. Further, breakfast can be cheaper and easy to serve if a pouch of milk (250 gm) with two bananas (or anything available locally) is served. It is less time consuming and an easy process. Many of the students go to school without breakfast and keep on waiting for the mid-day meal without concentration on their studies.

A survey can be conducted among the students to know preference for breakfast or lunch under the mid-day meal scheme.

Dr MM GOEL, Kurukshetra

Take the challenge

Life is a privilege and suicide is not a solution to the problem but fighting with the circumstances is (editorial All is not well July 5). Data regarding suicide is a cause of concern. In fact, suicides are an affront to Indian society.  The causes as well as remedies for suicides are both social and economic.  Suicides are a social stigma.  Those who commit suicides are driven by momentary decision rather than by carefully thought-out action.

Suicides are meaningless deaths since the perpetrators of the crime do not have a goal or motive to fulfill, but its effect on concerned families are heart breaking and devastating.

Suicide is often termed as a permanent solution to a temporary problem but efforts have to be made to prevent suicides by determining a number of social factors. The government should not waste time in knowing the cause of suicides by farmers but ensure that the farmers have enough to live a life of dignity.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


In this age of nuclear families and IT revolution, relationships are the biggest casualty (Raji P Shrivastava’s middle Distant’ cousins, July 7). We have become self-centred, are confined to our four walls and glued to modern gadgets and gizmos when outside the home.

What to talk of distant cousins, even close relatives have turned distant in this individualistic world. Bashir Badr says, “Isi shehr mein kayi saal se merey kucch qaribi aziz hain/Unhein meri koyi khabar nahin, mujhe unka koyi pata nahin” (for many years, some of my close relatives have been living in this city; none of us know anything about one another).

Information technology has made the globe a village. But, socially, this village has become like the one in the medieval world. Relationships, like plants, need nurturing. Socialising leads to association which, in turn, leads to happiness. Individualism results in isolation.




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