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

Himachal needs overhaul

Rakesh Lohumi has depicted a dismal but real picture of the economy of Himachal Pradesh in his article, ‘Himachal bills mount despite fiscal discipline’ (April 3). The writer, however, has not spelt out ways for the state to come out of the mess. Himachal Pradesh is an abode of peace, social harmony and tranquility and such a state should progress by leaps and bounds. But the successive governments in the state have failed to formulate a proper vision and model to foster economic development and bring prosperity. Being a hill state, its economy drives strength from hydropower, horticulture and tourism. Unfortunately, the progress in all three fields has been tardy so far. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has allowed the state to earn royalty from three mega power projects — Bhakra, Pong and Ranjit Sagar dams. Now it is the responsibility of the new government to roll out a blueprint to scale the fiscal cliff. The new roadmap should show a commitment to initiate large-scale projects in the fields of hydropower, horticulture, tourism and reconstruction of roads by taking loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The state has a huge hydropower potential of 12,000 MW and it requires an investment of over Rs 1 lakh crore. The state government should create new tourist hotspots. The road distance between important towns needs to be reduced by building tunnels. Helicopter service should be introduced to connect important cities. Only time-bound execution of such projects would bring prosperity in the state.


Thane tragedy

The tragic building collapse in Thane is not an isolated case in our country where the rich for their gains have not hesitated to put the lives of the poor at risk. The government has ordered an inquiry but, as always, it would be an eyewash. The probing officers would be busy find scapegoats rather than fixing responsibility on those responsible for the tragedy. As a result corrupt builders, who have patronage of scrupulous politicians, will keep on building potentially hazardous structures, which will one day become death traps for the common man.

Exemplary punishment should be given to those who play with the lives of people.

HL SHARMA, Amritsar

Fighting rape

The Presidential assent to the anti-rape Bill has come at a very right time as there has been a country-wide outrage over the horrific Delhi gang rape. Tougher laws to deal with crime against women are the need of the hour.

Apart from this, what we drastically require is a change in the mindset of the people indulging in such heinous crimes against women. The women, on their part, should evolve better methods of self-defence. They should come forward to sensitise their peers and community. Women should come forward to complain and report these crimes.


Khemka bears brunt

The Haryana Government has shifted IAS officer Ashok Khemka once again. Khemka, who was transferred in October 2012 for cancelling a high-profile DLF land deal, has been shifted out of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation this time. Khemka has been transferred 44 times in his bureaucratic career of less than 20 years. The fresh move by the Hooda government raises question mark over its modus operandi and reflects the ill-treatment meted out to honest bureaucrats who are doing their duty properly. Officers like Khemka bear the brunt for unearthing scams or corruption in the government set-up. In this scenario, the apex court must intervene to safeguard the interests of honest officers. The bureaucracy must be freed from the clutches of politicians and it should be allowed to work without any fear for betterment of the country and its people.


Plastic mess

The Supreme Court has rightly reprimanded the government over its failure to ensure proper disposal of plastic waste in cities. Apart from plastic, polythene and other packing materials have become a big health hazard not only in big cities, but also in towns and rural areas. Plastic is burnt in the open despite ban. Today, almost all food and consumer items are available in tetra packs, which are convenient to carry. This has generated a use-and-throw habit among the people.

While those aware and educated have started dumping solid waste at designated places, the municipal corporations/councils have failed in its responsibility of waste collection, transportation and its scientific management.

There should be strict enforcement of existing laws banning the use of polythene across the country. Instead of carrying all waste material to far-off places for disposal, there should be a system for ward-level waste management — collection, segregation, processing and marketing.

The municipal bodies should spruce up their waste collection and management systems. The public should also learn to discourage polybags and change its habit of use and throw. The solid waste management should be a priority and the government should make adequate funds available for it. Scientific solid waste management can become a source on revenue generation for sustainable sanitation both in the urban and rural areas.

DR PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Sugar decontrol after-effect

With the Lok Sabha elections just a year away, the UPA government is trying every trick in the book to woo voters. The present exercise of sugar decontrol is a step in this direction. Sugarcane farmers are an influential community in the agro sector. They had a legitimate grouse that the sugar mill owners were not paying regularly for their produce. The millers, on the other hand, pinned the blame on the government for controlling sugar prices and the resultant losses to them. The decision of the government to decontrol sugar prices is aimed at solving the problems of both sections — millers and farmers.

The government, it seems, has acted in the matter on experts' advice. It’s a theoretical exercise and how the market reacts to this move is yet to be seen. Sugar and onions are two sensitive food items which have the power to swing the voters' mood. Let us hope that the government takes appropriate measure so that millers do not form any cartel as the editorial in the Tribune ‘Decontrol of sugar prices’ (April 6) has forewarned, otherwise, the step can also boomerang for the government.

LR SHARMA, Sundernagar



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