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Toll tax a burden on common man’s shoulders

When the central and the state governments have been charging heavy road tax on vehicles, is that not sufficient to maintain roads? In this context, the application of toll tax is totally wrong (editorial “A toll on patience”, September 8). 

Though the traffic has increased manifold which requires widened and smooth roads, the collection of road tax has also increased. There is no road left in the country without a toll plaza. The toll tax is quite exorbitant and is frequently increased. Its burden is ultimately passed on to the common man who is getting crushed under the load of numerous taxes and finding it quite difficult to survive them.

In all fairness, the toll tax should be abolished which would resultantly give monetary relief to the common man and avoid wastage of time at toll plazas. If the governments at the Centre and the states find it difficult to maintain roads, then new tax may be invented and levied on owners of vehicles.

DP JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh


Apropos the editorial “A toll on Patience”, an ancient tale fits the bill. A fund starved king decided to toll a road on the advice of his ministers, but was apprehensive of the backlash from the public. Anyhow the financial emergency prevailed and the toll of Rs one per vehicle was put in place, to be revoked if the people disapproved of it. People started paying and moving without a complaint. Mused over the ease of collection, the king increased the toll to Rs 2, then to Rs 3 and ultimately to Rs 10 in a short span of time, but no one protested.

Surprised over the resilience of the people, the king decided to test their patience further and ordered that after collecting the toll, each passerby be given 10 lashes also. Even after this, when the people kept mum, the king sent his detectives to know their feelings. The feedback he got was the demand to increase the number of lashers, as time wastage was unaffordable. Same is the situation of travellers today.


Soldier’s dichotomy

The primary reason for the increasing number of suicides in the armed forces is a weak mind. People who shoot themselves are mentally and psychologically weak, unable to cope up with the tensions of today’s life. Then comes the pressure from their families living separately or in a joint family. The mobile phone has become an instrument of passing on tensions from their families to the jawans, hour by hour. 

The man who can reduce a soldier’s stress, and thereby cases of suicides, is the Commanding Officer. A CO should know each man of his unit like the back of his palm. This can happen only when there is a regular communication and feedback system. A  good CO attends all the major  parades in his unit, like morning  physical training (PT), day time training, evening games, and  night roll call/ sainik sammelan ( talking to men directly).   By doing so, he understands the morale of the unit and keeps his hand on the pulse of the unit. The moment a jawan or a young officer is sulking or depressed, he will make it out. So, the answer lies in the Commanding Officer taking charge of the situation.

Col R D SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt

Save Sukhna

No technically concrete solutions have been found for the preservation of Sukhna Lake. The lake dries up during summer months either due to seepage or due to evaporation of water. I have a suggestion to retain water in the lake. The ‘malba’ (construction waste) is being thrown at different places in Chandigarh. During summer season, the ‘malba’ should be laid on the dry bed of the lake. The ‘malba’ being of variable size be laid with proper slope towards the central point of the lake.

The ‘malba’ should be thrown at specific places near the lake to facilitate its loading and unloading. For preservation of water, 4-5 shallow tube wells (8” straight tube wells) should be installed with plastic casing pipe and plastic strainer. These tube wells will be economical.

SC SETHI, via e-mail


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the UT Administration to appoint a committee to save the city’s landmark, the Sukhna Lake. Till date, the committee has not held even one meeting to address the problem. The first chairman resigned because the committee was not taking the problem seriously.

The UT Finance Secretary says that since the rains have filled the lake, there is no imminent problem. Locking the stable doors after the horse has bolted, is not an option.

H KISHIE SINGH, via e-mail 

Assault from within 

When Parliament, the temple of democracy, was attacked from outside it was condemned by one and all, but what should be done when it is being attacked from within? Parliament is a forum where national issues are debated and decided. Will the resignation of the Prime Minister make good the presumptive loss of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore? Who will account for the loss of Rs 2 crore incurred daily for stalling the proceedings and creating cacophony in Parliament (editorial “Graceless Conduct”, September 5)?

There seems to be no genuine concern among the MPs for all the ills our nation is suffering from. We need parliamentarians who are really concerned about India.

Prof LAKHA SINGH, Kalyanpur



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