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Hike in power tariff will hit industry in Punjab

Apropos the news-item ‘Punjab hikes power tariff by 9%’ (April 11), the prosperity of a state and development of its economy hinge on good governance. The industry in Punjab seems to have been shaken by poor governance, lack of a good industrial policy and rising power tariff. Since the industry in the state is already suffering due to economic slowdown, this hike in power tariff is uncalled for and will only add to their miseries.

The new tariff will increase the cost of production, harming the interests of manufacturers. How can an industrialist now think of setting up a unit here due to the spiraling power tariff. A number of industrialists have already shut down their units in the state and are now setting up their units in other states.

Moreover, domestic consumers are also a harried lot. They are suffering a double whammy of power cuts or inadequate power supply and pay the increased power tariff every year.

The state government has virtually failed to upgrade its infrastructure to cope with the ever-growing demand for power. Nor have successive governments ever tried to take steps to increase power generation capacity.



The PSPCL has given an average 9 per cent power hike shock to the state consumers to earn Rs 1,782 crore for the 2013-14 financial year and continue with the subsidies to the farm sector and poor sections of society. This despite the fact that the prices of daily-use items are already touching the sky. If the power tariff keeps spiralling, it will be next to impossible for the poor to use electricity unit and they will forced to use candles in place of tubelights and pakhis as fans.

In order to bring more voters to its fold, the government has been providing free electricity to farmers and other sops to different sections of society over the years. Such steps will not only put more burden in the form of increased tariff on domestic comsumers paying their power bills honestly but also paralyse industry. Moreover, the PSPCL is getting deeper in the quagmire of debt due to free power, line losses, pilferage and unplanned policies of Powercom and the government. The need of the hour is to make a uniform power tariff policy and stop free power.


SAD’s Goa trip

Apropos the editorial ‘From gurdwaras to Goa: Akalis introspect on the beach’ (April 11), it is really strange that legislators of a state, which is financially defunct and unable to pay the staff salaries, should play ducks and drakes with the public money on their luxury tour to Goa. This vichar manthan could have been done at Chandigarh or elsewhere in Punjab.

I am reminded of a verse from Akbar Allahabadi:

“Koum ke gham mein dinner khatein hai Ehkaam ke saath, runj leader ko bahut hain magar aaram ke saath.”

 MS TANDAN, Ambala  Cantt


It is publicly acknowledged that Rs 30 lakh were spent on the Vichar Manthan exercise in Goa. Agreed, it was not government money. Then, where did this money come from? The MLAs named from Dera Bassi and Faridkot, who arranged a cruise for enjoying the sea journey, must be compensated in various kinds.

AVTAR SINGH, Jalandhar

Sagging tourism

The recent incident of murder of 24 years old British tourist Sarah Elizabeth by a Dutchman in a house boat at the Dal Lake in Srinagar is a tragic blow to the already sagging tourist industry in the Valley. In India, we witness a rape case and other crimes every day. It is due to the incidents of rape and murder of foreign tourists in particular and domestic ones in general that they prefer to visit other countries, not ours.

Kashmir, which is known for its natural beauty, tourist spots, hospitality, etc, is facing a sharp decline in the number of foreign tourists. Reason: incidents of rape and crime have put a big dent in the flow of tourists to the Valley.

Unless the culprits are awarded an exemplary punishment and the fear of the law is instilled into potential criminals, one cannot expect a turnaround in the tourism sector as well as in the state’s economy.


Fatal mix-up

Apropos the article ‘Mixing up medicines can be fatal’ (March 27), the writers have highlighted a problem from which most of us remain oblivious.

A medicine is taken in a particular dose for a desirable effect. If it is taken in a dose which is higher than recommended, effects produced may be greater and may be toxic. And if we take a drug (from complimentary medicine, or even allopathic) in addition to one already prescribed, the combination will behave essentially as a larger dose of the single drug producing exaggerated response which may be toxic. That is why, as explained in the article, taking of garlic by a person already taking aspirin as a blood thinner can increase bleeding tendencies. In the same manner, taking juice of bitter gourd (karela) in addition to the prescribed medicines for diabetes can lead to increased attacks of hypoglycemia (lower blood sugar).


Rumbles of resentment

Apropos the news item ‘Slow and steady loses the race’ (March 27) in Chandigarh Tribune, I would like to add that these rumble strips are not only causing undue harassment to motorists but also to those living in the houses near that road bearing these strips. The nearby hapless residents get an unwanted interruption in their sleep at night due to the heavy sound caused by vehicles while passing these strips. Moreover, these have caused several accidents injuring many motorists and damaging vehicles.

The free movement of vehicles should not be hindered within the city. Technically, the speed of vehicles going towards the roundabout may be curtailed, but not of those moving away from it. Otherwise, it will cause traffic bottlenecks.

No public opinion was sought before the construction of these. Rumble strips have proved to be more of a problem than a solution to keep the speed of vehicles under control. Why don’t UT high-ups pay a visit to these to have first-hand experience of the situation.

KAILASH GARG, Chandigarh 



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