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Polluted waters

Apropos the news itemOfficials inspect units discharging polluted waters (May 4), residents of Laheri village headed by its sarpanch Geeta deserve appreciation for showing courage to exhort the corrupt government to act against the polluting practice going on in the area for more than a decade. The erring industrial units are discharging pollutants on the ground and injecting them into the ground, polluting the precious groundwater.

While the pollutants on the ground can be reduced, it is impossible to reclaim the polluted groundwater. The quality of groundwater in the Sonepat area is already poor and saline. The salinity problem in Haryana was investigated and debated upon and several remedial measures were implemented as a follow-up under the UNDP-FAO-funded Saline Water Project during the eighties.

It is a political tragedy because such polluting practices can go on only with the connivance of government officials. But the industry lobby is too strong for the government.

The only hope lies with the required level of awareness, sense of belongingness and boldness of the residents to fight the might of the evil.

Dr N K Rana, Kurukshetra

Matter of preference

Some days back, when Dr Manmohan Singh’s stepbrother joined the BJP, the incident was highlighted by the media. It’s all about ones taste and preference. Maneka Gandhi started a new political outfit when her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi was the PM and Maneka later joined the BJP. Rajiv Gandhi didn’t spare a thought for his brother and fought from Amethi against Maneka. The same has happened in the Scindia family. Politicians must avoid being judgmental.

Deepjot S Thukral, Ambala Cantt

Acute power cuts

With the mercury soaring, Zirakpur residents are facing acute and frequent outages, giving them sleepless nights.

Suffering from heat and humidity, the residents have alleged that the poor infrastructure and outdated transmission line network of the Electricity Department are the main causes of the frequent loadshedding.

s c dhall, Zirakpur

Jobless engineers

In the last decade, we have seen a sudden increase in the number of engineering colleges in Haryana. Most of them are private colleges and affiliated to a particular state university. Graduating from these colleges does not guarantee a good job. As a result, we have a large number of unemployed engineers. They have a good knowledge of theory, but they lack in practical work. Focus should be made on quality of education, not quantity.

APEKSHIT, Kurukshetra

Burdensome toll tax

Toll tax is a burden on the people as in spite of unfinished roads, they have to deposit road tax on purchase of a vehicle.

Though the road is incomplete at the Ambala-Shambu barrier, toll tax is levied. At times, a person has to pay Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for an around 10-hour journey, which is a burden. While we continue to pay road tax, the condition of our roads is worsening.

Only those roads are repaired where politicians have a vote bank as we saw during the Lok Sabha elections recently. People should get together to oppose this practice.

Kamaljeet Malwa, Mansa

Help disabled soldiers

The broader vision of the 12th Five Year Plan is faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth. It also states that the disadvantaged groups must get a fair share of the benefit of growth. Contrary to this, disabled soldiers are kept out of the purview of the Persons with Disability Act (1995). Disability does not kill resourcefulness. Disabled soldiers can be employed for office/desk jobs in peace time military locations or can be trained for national and international sporting events for the disabled. Armed forces respect and embrace diversity. When the organisation’s human resource model is so inclusive, why does it exclude its own differently abled personnel?

Capt Teena Dhir (retd), via email

End conflict of interest

The serialised information on the Badal family wealth published in The Tribune was well researched. Some people have questioned its timing. However, no one has been able to question the authenticity of the information. Misuse of influence is not confined to Punjab or to one politician. The larger question of conflict of interest (COI) needs to be addressed. From sports to food industry to vaccine research to medical trials, from mining to environmental clearance of projects to re-employment of retired officers,; COI is all-pervasive. Can anything be done to prevent such blatant misuse of power?

The public needs to be informed that unless we have a legal framework we will continue to see misuse of power through conflict of interest. The UN has asked governments to frame laws to address conflict of interest if they are serious in combating corruption and ironically, India is a signatory to this. A Congress Rajya Sabha member tried to introduce a Bill on this issue, but in vain. Some organisations have demanded the inclusion of COI in the Prevention of Corruption Act. A number of countries have made laws to contain COI.

The Tribune should start a debate on how to address conflict of interest. Otherwise, the efforts of such investigative reports will not reach their logical conclusion.

NS Khaira, Ludhiana

Hijacker politicians

In its investigative reports, The Tribune not only highlighted the Badal family’s businesses, but also unearthed how honest earnings of the people are being highjacked.

I was trvelling in a PRTC bus from Amritsar to Chandigarh about a week ago. The bus stopped near a flyover in Jalandhar to take the passangers when a baton-weilding policeman told the driver to not stop there. The driver said he had only around 20 passengers. It was said: “Badal sahib ki bus kharhi hai. Jab tak bhar nahi jayegi, challegi nahi. (Badal Sahib’s bus is standing. Till it does not fill, it will not move).”

Pannu, via email

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]



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