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HP must tap visa rule

The Union Government’s visa-on-arrival initiative will boost tourism. Himachal Pradesh, famous as the country's fruit bowl, has a number of destinations to offer to the world. Its mountains, vales and romancing brooks offer plenty of nature to mesmerise the visitors. Now, it's for the state and its people to make the most of the opportunity and develop hill tourism. So far, only places like Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala or Kullu have attracted foreign tourists. But as these towns have become concrete jungles, there is need to promote the unexplored and lesser-known tourist destinations in the interiors of the hill state such as the Pabbar valley in Rohru and Sirmaur. It will also open job avenues for the rural youth.

Dr L.K. Manuja, Nahan

LPG move anti-poor

The Union Government's LPG subsidy transfer plan is anti-poor as it is not easy for the BPL families to arrange more than Rs 1,000 for a cooking gas cylinder and then seek subsidy in their bank accounts. Some people find it tough even to arrange two square meals a day. And most of them have no money to even open bank accounts, which are essential to get the subsidy. They are often forced to pledge their valuables and arrange money on high interest rates from private moneylenders. The government and oil companies should take such factors into account before announcing any such initiatives.

Grief-stricken, Amritsar

Ban unruly MPs

The way in which some of our MPs/MLAs are indulging in unruly behaviour and violence, even using pepper spray, there is an urgent need to frisk them before letting them in Parliament and the Assemblies (Editorial “Peppered over”, February 15). All contentious issues can be addressed through debate and discussion instead of shaming democracy by acting like vandals on the street.

The government should bring a legislation stipulating strict action against members indulging in such acts so that precious time of Parliament or Assemblies is not wasted.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Taking on Ambani bold

This refers to the editorial “Keep politics aside: Gas price issue needs a fresh look” (February 13). By ordering an FIR against Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani, Union Cabinet Minister Veerappa Moily, former Oil Minister Murli Deora and former oil regulator VK Sibal, Arvind Kejariwal has shown a rare boldness and courage of conviction as a pro-people leader.

He has rightly questioned the intriguing manner in which Mukesh Ambani’s company has been persuading the Central government to hike the oil prices since 2007.

This was a blatant breach of the original agreement according to which Reliance was responsible for supplying gas to the NTPC at $2.3 per mBtu for 17 years. Now, the new rate of $8.4 per unit from April 1 will affect the economy and pauperise the common people. It will certainly push up the costs of transport, electricity and fertilisers. It is a brazen loot of the public money.

Kejriwal seems to know the pain of the masses and an uncanny wisdom to move forward as a leader. He has forcefully hit at the root of corruption by pointing a finger at Reliance which is controlling the oil wells in the KG-D 6 blocks of Andhra Pradesh. He has exposed the dubious links between some Cabinet ministers and the most powerful corporate house of the country. We ought to welcome such an honest and upright leader.


Gentle conductors

I recently travelled from Una to Sujanpur in a Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus. As the bus stopped near Amb, a woman in her mid-sixties boarded it. The bus conductor asked her, "Amma, kuthu jaana?" (where will you go)? The word 'amma' was pleasing to the ear. When a middle-aged passenger alighted near Nadaun, the conductor addressed him as 'chacha' and said, “Dikhi ke lohian” (alight carefully). It was again pleasing to hear ‘chacha’.

I have travelled a lot in Himachal in the past 35 years. Never have I found an HRTC conductor rude, unpleasant or disrespectful. Passengers are like guests and deserve respect.

Mehnga Ram, Patiala

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