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

Hydel projects playing with ecology

All power companies, big or small, and corporate houses executing various hydel projects in different valleys of Himachal Pradesh are playing dangerous games with the ecosystem. These companies have been openly flouting environment norms. There has been large-scale destruction of herbs, shrubs and trees. Dumping of debris in the local khuds and reserve forests has been causing extensive damage to the drinking water supply and irrigation channels. Acres of forest and agricultural land has turned barren because of the reckless cutting of hills and dumping of debris.

It is unfortunate that the district administration officials like Deputy Commissioners, SDMs, Divisional Forest Officers and state government officials responsible for the proper implementation of a MoU signed with the government have become silent spectators. They have given a free hand to the hydel companies to go ahead with the destruction of precious natural and forest wealth of the state.

Most of the companies executing hydel projects have failed to deposit the local area development fund with the state exchequer. The state officials have not bothered to collect it from them due to their political connections.

The arrest of over half a dozen officials while accepting bribe from power companies in the past two years has exposed the nexus between corrupt officials of the Revenue Department and the owners of hydel companies. There are a number of such cases where NOCs (no Objection Certificates) were issued overnight for setting up these projects throwing all norms to the wind.

SDMs, tehsildars and other revenue officials play a vital role in the grant of permission for setting up such projects as most of the NOCs for the transfer of land, marking of dumping sites, construction of roads to project site, etc are issued by them and later approved by district magistrates.

A dozen such hydel projects are coming up along the Satluj. Local residents have lodged many strong protests against the illegal acts of these companies and have taken to the streets. There is nobody to listen to the woes of the affected villagers.


Relevance of khaps

Without a proper structural setup, khap resolutions can neither be implemented nor monitored and as a consequence no records can be maintained (DR Chaudhry’s article Simmering identity crisis at Khaps (July 27). It would be wonderful if somebody explores from old files the content of news reports filed by news correspondents, particularly of The Tribune then published from Lahore, about the Khap convention held in March 1911 at Barona (near Kharkauda, now in Sonipat district) and if there was an editorial comment on the issue too.

For Khaps, popularity hardly matters. What is historically noteworthy is the recognition of the decisions or resolutions taken and a study into their impact. Regrettably, most scholars failed to study various aspects of the Khaps and evaluate their significant role or honestly underscored the impact of the resolutions taken at the Baron Khap conclave.

Chaudhary’s interpretation of the skewed sex ratio in favour of a male child during the three years -2010, 2011 and the current year 2012, which is based on the data compiled by the CMO of Jind may be erroneously drawn. No trends can be established in this short period whereas we do not exactly know if it was a natural phenomenon or foeticide. Only a bio-statistician could have correctly interpreted the trend or the reasons caused otherwise.

Ranbir S Phaugat, Rohtak

Tapping solar energy

Here are a few suggestions to fight power crisis in Punjab. The government can install one generator of the required capacity in every village of Punjab. The government can buy generators from China as they are very reasonably priced and the World Bank gives subsidy on the purchase of these generators. Installing of a generator in every village will be a boon for villagers. Nowadays, generators that run on gas are also available and that too at reasonable costs.

Solar energy should be tapped. Whenever the demand for power increases, solar energy would come to the rescue of the power department. Installation and maintenance of solar panel is also simple. The government can set up solar panels in every village for tapping solar energy. As we all know our state is abundant in solar energy, so the concept of harnessing solar energy will really prove to be beneficial for our people.

BRIJ BEDI, Jalandhar

Sikh dignity!

It is unfortunate that some misguided Sikh youths and the so-called Sikh organisations claiming themselves sympathetic to the Sikh cause, who have no or little base in the community, have demanded that noted journalist and writer Kuldip Nayar should apologise before the Akal Takht for his anti-Sikh writings in his autobiography “Beyond the Lines”. And, all this is not understandable despite the fact that Nayar has openly apologised for what has hurt the feelings of the aggrieved people and further assured that the same will be withdrawn from the next edition of the book.

Let us ponder over the issue calmly and ask ourselves as to whether we are so ungrateful to Nayar for what he has done to fight for the restoration of dignity of Sikhs who suffered humiliation in the aftermath of the Bluestar operation and subsequent massacre of Sikhs at Delhi and elsewhere consequent upon the death of Indira Gandhi. They must go through the book “When a Tree Shook Delhi” written in 2007 by noted Sikh lawyer HS Phoolka.


Justice delivery in the West

How efficient is the justice system in other countries is reflected in the news of Anuj Bidve’s killer who got a life term in the UK. Bidve was murdered on December 26, 2011, and the guilty was punished on July 27, 2012. The investigation and prosecution of the case was completed in seven months. The sentence of life imprisonment with minimum 30 years in jail before parole can be considered, though the pain suffered by Bidve’s parents is immense and cannot be compensated. We are following the same justice system but take decades to finalise and decide the cases. The authorities concerned need to introspect and remove all the bottlenecks so that legal cases are completed in minimum time and victims get justice as soon as possible.

SC VAID, Greater Noida



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |