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Make cars safe

Apropos the news item “Crash test” (February 1), it is very unfortunate that India’s best-selling cars have failed to pass the crash test performed by London-based car safety watchdog New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The five major giants of the country — Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Ford Figo, Tata Nano, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo — all got a big zero in the crash test at a speed of 60 kmph. Hatchback cars comprise the biggest price segment in the Indian car market as most of them are purchased by working class consumers. The test showed that the crash would leave the driver with life-threatening injuries. It proves that there is a loophole in the safety standards adopted by Indian manufacturers. Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, proved the best pricewise, but lost in safety.

All companies are giving statements on this event about safety policies, but only Volkswagen has withdrawn its Polo model and committed front airbags even in the base model by giving supremacy to the safety policy. The other carmakers must follow this example. The companies should not forget that India has the deadliest roads in the world. They should provide basic safety features in the base models, too. Also, the drivers need to be protected and educated about regulations. The driving licence procedure should be tightened so that negligent people are not authorised to drive.


CM’s parting gift to self

This refers to former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna giving himself the gift of a post-retirement palatial bungalow. There should not even be pension for retired political rulers. Also, there should be some retirement age for them. It is shocking that political rulers have designed life-long princely facilities for themselves, with even their spouses continuing to get government bungalows after their death. There is no logic in spending public money on these retirees. Also, since pension for government servants has since been abolished, public money should not be drained into pension and other benefits given to retired parliamentarians and state legislators.


Poll promise, again

In view of the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and BJP have again raised the issue of one rank, one pension for the ex-servicemen. Addressing a public meeting at Hamirpur, former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal assured the ex-servicemen that if the BJP came to power, this long-pending issue would be resolved on priority. Let’s hope for the best.

K C Sharma, Gaggal (Kangra)

Fixed tenure good

Wisdom has prevailed on the political executive and it has ultimately amended the rules that govern the IAS, IPS, IFS following the Supreme Court direction (“Tenure turbulence”, February 1). The constitution of civil service boards in the states is also a welcome step. Political interference in the transfers and postings of blue-eyed boys on plum posts is the order of the day and bureaucrats dance to the tune of their political masters by twisting rules and regulations. Though postings of officers should be the prerogative of the executive, in selecting such officers, merits of efficiency, honesty and transparency must not be sacrificed for ulterior considerations, though transfers can be effected before the fixed tenure in rare cases on administrative exigencies. Both the executive and bureaucracy should work honestly for the welfare of the community at large and mutually understand the limitations of each other. The fixed tenure of civil servants will certainly help boost their morale and result in security, effective delivery and good governance.

Dr KD Lakhanpal, Bilaspur

Calendar check

This is regarding the article “The science behind solar, lunar calander” (January 22). While calendaring Baisakhi in 1699, the year the Khalsa was founded, the writer has assumed that it fell on April 9. This is not correct. The writer has forgotten to mention that in 1753, as many as 11 days were added in the Gregorian calendar as a correction. Hence, there is no date from September 3 to 13, 1753. After September 2, the next date is September 14. Accordingly, Baisakhi fell on March 29 or 30 in 1699.

Harsharnjit Singh, Jalandhar

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