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Himachal needs CSD depot

There are several CSD canteens catering to the needs of defence personnel in Himachal Pradesh, but they have to pay high rates for the items because the canteens are collecting the items from stores either in Ambala cantonment or Jalandhar cantonment in Haryana and Punjab, respectively. As a result, the carrying charges, including taxes for the entry of vehicles, are included in the rates of the items sold in the canteens in Himachal Pradesh. A proposal to have a depot in Una was rejected by the Ministry of Defence as the area is prone to floods during the rainy season.

Transporting the items in buses to bring them to the canteens adds fuel to the fire due to the hike in bus fares and the increase of VAT in HP. As a result, the canteen officials prefer to buy households items from the local markets instead of procuring them from the neighbouring states. The demand for a depot in HP is the need of the hour.


Merc vs roads

This refers to a recent news item that the Himachal Pradesh Governement is buying a Mercedes car costing over Rs 77 lakh for the Chief Minister. The CM does not seem to be aware of the fact that roads in Himachal Pradesh are in a terrible state. Recently, I travelled from Una to Dharmsala and was pained to see the pathetic condition of roads, particularly between Amb and Dehra via Bharwain. I saw a motorcyclist fall in one of the many potholes on this road. The road is non-existent at a number of places in this sector. The CM should avoid wasteful expenditure of the taxpayers' money for his personal comfort and, instead, divert the funds for the much-needed repair of damaged roads in the hill state.

M.K. SHARMA, via email

Money hope

Switzerland has recently signed the Multi-Lateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in tax matters. It is good news for India. A large chunk of the Indian black money is deposited in Swiss banks because of their secret banking rules. With Switzerland taking this step, hopefully the black money in its banks  would be detected and brought back to India.


No train yet

The much-awaited Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link was made operational in April, this year. But even after six months, no new passenger train has been introduced on this track with stoppages at en route stations like Kharar, New Morinda, Khamano, Samrala, Lallkalan and Sahnewal. People of this region are still dependent on the road transport system. Do private bus transporters in Punjab have an understanding with railway officials who have not yet approved any EMU (electric motive unit) on this route?

M.P.SINGH, Mohali

Jarring notes

This has reference to the report in the Amritsar Tribune (October 20) highlighting air, water and noise pollutions in residential areas and the fact that officials concerned are not taking note of the issue. In addition to some industrial units, hotels are inflicting damage on and playing with the health of local residents. They play loud music way past midnight, causing discomfort to all.

One such example is a hotel on The Mall, near a residential colony. Recently, against rules, the hotel established a rooftop bar with DJ facility which is played at night in callous disregard to the residents and patients in the hospital next door to it. In spite of repeated requests to the hotel management and the authorities concerned to follow the Supreme Court order that allows DJs only till 10 pm, this hotel is playing loud music with impunity.



Letters to the Editor

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Phailin: Now, test of rehab

The way Odisha faced, and beat Phailin cyclone, is a testimony to the fact that we Indians have the capability to produce results, and fight any crisis. It is only a question of foresight and uniting our effort. Accurate prediction by the Met Department, timely evacuation of the people from the coastal villages, making good use of the cyclone shelters (made after the 1999 super-cyclone devastation), quick action by the NDMA and the armed forces, and, above all, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik proving to be an effective leader in guiding the rescue efforts, saved thousands of precious lives and property worth crores. It is a message to the world of what India can do.

Now, the resettlement programme of about a million displaced people should be done with equal efficiency. Let's now crystallise our crisis management system, and meet future disasters, wherever in India, in a similar coordinated manner. The lessons learnt must be put in writing and sent to all concerned. Well done India.

Col R D Singh ( retd), Ambala cantt



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