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Shift tribunal visits

The Circuit Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal Bench, Chandigarh, visits Shimla to hear defence-related legal matters of serving and retired personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force who hail from Himachal Pradesh. Most of the defence personnel belong to the districts of Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi and Bilaspur and their strength in Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti is negligible. In addition, several defence personnel are posted in Dharamsala, Yol and Pathankot.

So, it would be a boon to them if the Circuit Bench visits are shifted from Shimla to Hamirpur as it is nearer to their places of living. With this, they would save money which is now spent on going to Shimla to attend the hearings. The matter has already been taken up with Secretary, Department of Sainik Welfare, HP, and needs to be expedited.

H/Capt Jagdish Chand (retd), Narola (Mandi)

Elitist proclivity

I wonder how a middle like “All for that additional parantha” by Rakesh Kumar (April 21) was picked up by the editors for publication. The writer, seemingly with an elitist proclivity, boisterously describes the distinct culture of the mess which he joins as a boarder in a boarding school in Patiala. It is 20 years since he left the school. He shares the exploits of spoilt boarders -- students of classes VI to XII-- who bribe a bearer to fetch liquor for the adolescents, as if such acts are a laudable achievement. Does it behove him to bare such reprehensible details in the media which we, the parents of this age group of children, abhor even to talk of in front them? I do not know of any school which approves of even the ‘girlfriend’ trend as the minds of the students in this age group are too unripe for diversions like this.

Kiran Sharma, Sundarnagar

PSPCL plunder

The Tribune has rendered yeoman service by exposing the plunder of public funds by the PSPCL at the behest of politicians. Contracts are manipulated through verbal instructions to favour selected parties and instructions are carried out by pliable persons placed in key positions. The CMD’s assertion that transparency was maintained in awarding contracts does not explain how a company at number 10 in the merit list got a bigger order than a company at number one. The CMD should clarify what transparent process was used to distribute an order in such a scandalous manner. In the PSPCL, it is an open secret that a corrupt and unscrupulous person was handpicked by the CMD to deal with a tender because he was close to a Cabinet minister who had a direct stake in the tender.

The recent extension in the term given to the CMD in violation of Rules and Articles of the Association of PSPCL is another blot on the government. It is the time for the CMD to quit.

Padamjit Singh, via email

Grain market scene

Farmers in Punjab shy away from doing labour in wheat-harvesting. Labourers from other states are hired for the job. Thanks to the atta-dal scheme and easy availability of alcohol kiosks, while some beneficiaries are seen gambling, others are red-eyed and have imbalanced bodies due to drugs. I feel sorry for the future of Punjab agriculture. The government must take action. It should begin with organising some awareness programmes and save the agriculture of the state.

Vishal Munjal, via email

BSNL’s unfair practice

While promoting its internet schemes, the BSNL offered 20% discount to employees and retirees. But after getting an overwhelming response from the public, it reduced the discount to 10% which is not a fair trade practice. Instead of further enhancing the discount, it has reduced it without caring for the sentiments of the beneficiaries. Similar private service providers in the market are offering more profitable schemes. The BSNL should restore the discount of 20%.

Kundan Singh, via email

Controlling TB

This refers to the editorial “Renal failure, gastric ulcer alarmingly common: Study” (April 24). In the same article, the problem of tuberculosis was mentioned. WHO declared tuberculosis a global emergency many years back. There is a proper infrastructure under the RNTCP wherein medical care is being provided to TB patients. Diagnostic and follow-up sputum tests, blood tests, X-rays and audiometry are done free of cost in the Medical College, Tanda. TB drugs are given to all patients by the RNTCP, the district health administration and the Medical College. RNTCP drugs are made available up to the anganwadi level. The indoor facility is only for serious TB patients. MDR patients from six districts of HP are admitted and registered here and on discharge, they are given around 10 days’ medicine.

More than 40% population is infected with TB bacilli. When the immune system goes down due to factors such as diabetes, malnutrition, alcohol, Smoking, use of steroids, HIV, cancer, starvation etc, the infection changes into TB disease. Cross-ventilation, avoidance of open spitting and cough etiquette are sufficient infection control measures. The sanatoria concept is over now. The WHO has put the slogan for this year as “reach the 3 million, treat and cure them.” The untouched population comprises prisoners, drug users, migrant workers, refugees and displaced persons.


Lifting the veil

I was delighted to read the editorial “Haryana women lift the veil” (April 25). As a student of the Urdu language, I am reminded of four lines by Akbar Allahabadi:
“Be-purdah kal jo nazar aayeen chand beebiyaan,
'Akbar' zameen mein ghairat-e-qaumi se gir gaya,
Poochha jo unsay aapka purdah woh kya hua,
Kehne lageen ke aqal pe mardon ki pad gaya.”
(The other day, when I saw a few women without any veil, 'Akbar' I was dashed to ground because of the 'notional' national integrity, When I inquired about the absence of the veil, They replied it had fallen on the wisdom of the menfolk.)

HK Lall, Chandigarh



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