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‘Honour killings’ — Where is the govt?

Haryana has earned notoriety for killing young couples who marry same-gotra girls/boys or go for inter-caste marriages. The khaps with a medieval mindset still issue dictates in the rural heartland of the state. The couples defying these orders are ostracised or forced to migrate elsewhere for good.

The unfortunate couples are butchered openly and the family members take pride in killing them. Shamefully, such “honour killings” are being done in a democratic country like ours. Where is the government hiding? Why is no stern action taken against the murderers? Obviously, the government does not want to lose the support of voters as the khaps wield a considerable influence in villages. This issue is being handled with kid gloves. The khaps are dominated by Jats, who prefer "honour killing" to softening their attitude and see the world through the prism of the 21st century.


It's undemocratic

Apropos the news item ‘Convicted lawmakers can contest polls' (September 25), the Cabinet's approval of an ordinance allowing the convicted MPs and MLAs can stay in office and contest election is unconstitutional, undemocratic and a fraud with the people. Certainly, it negates the SC's recent judgement that lawmakers convicted of offences punishable with two years or more would automatically stand disqualified for crossing this hurdle. The Association of Democratic Reforms highlighted that 31 per cent MPs and MLAs have criminal cases pending against them. And 162 out of 543 Lok Sabha MPs have criminal cases against them. Many MLAs are involved in serious criminal cases such as rape, murder, kidnapping, robbery and extortion.


Promote cycling

Energy is a major driver of economic growth. People who waste petrol, gas, electricity, etc should be fined and those who innovate or reduce energy consumption be given incentives. All types of lighting, be it in parks, on roads or at public places, should be shifted to the solar  mode from the present conventional source of electricity supplied by power houses.

The government can also promote cycling for commuting by giving incentives to the cycle industry. Cycle manufacturers can come out with low-priced, durable and attractive models which are comfortable to ride. Cycle lanes should also be provided on the sides of main roads to make cycling easier and accident-free. The government should also encourage the use of battery-powered vehicles by offering subsidy on their cost. The urban local bodies, schools and colleges should provide adequate cycle parking facilities.

Efficient models of chullahs, run on firewood and forest and crop waste, should be introduced in villages. This would reduce the consumption of LPG, kerosene and coal. The government should seriously push for such measures to save energy sources as it will cut the import of petroleum products, thus saving foreign exchange and capital, which can be utilised for other projects of national importance.


Aadhar scheme

The editorial ‘Unique challenge’ (September 26) has rightly emphasised the utility and necessity of the Aadhar card. This foolproof biometric device can be useful in tax detection and availing the subsidies. Also, this UID scheme can be efficiently and effectively put to use in crime detection. It is desirable that the government should plug various loopholes and take necessary steps to make it legally valid.

DR V K ANAND, Patiala

Bhakra Dam: A look back 

The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) will celebrate the golden jubilee of the Bhakra Dam and release a commemorative stamp on the dam on October 22. It would be a graceful gesture to pay homage to the expert adviser, the late Mr M.H. Slocum, engineers and workers, who worked and became partners in this great enterprise of building a new India.

It was in 1945 that the Bhakra Nangal project was started as Punjab had only water resources — being far from the centres of coal production. Progress in the initial stages was slow and the Partition of 1947 resulted in a tremendous set-back. Work could be resumed in 1948 with relentless determination and speed. Some 300 engineers and 12,000 employees worked for 15 years round the clock. As many as 242 of them laid down their lives and 4,572 got injured.

The Bhakra Nangal power scheme envisaged four powerhouses - two on the Bhakra Dam left and right sides, and two on the Nangal canal at Gangwwal and Kotla. The Bhakra project reached the second stage of its completion as the Gangwwal Powerhouse was commissioned on January 2, 1955 and the Kotla Powerhouse about a year later.

It was on October 22, 1963, that Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru dedicated the Bhakra Dam to the nation.

JAGTAR SINGH, IDAS (retd), Mohali



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