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No HP man in Cabinet

A debate has erupted over the non-inclusion of any Himachal BJP member of the Lok Sabha in the Union Cabinet. Experience, education, winning history, party loyalty and state/ ethnic representation appear as the main criteria for selecting an MP for a ministerial berth. Surprisingly, the present Cabinet defies all the above norms. It has first-timers, some sparsely educated too, party crossovers and some who do not seem to have a clean image. The much touted age bar is perhaps the most startling. Those plus 75 have been dumped in the marsh of insult.

A berth in the Cabinet for HP is more than deserved. The state BJP has won all Lok Sabha seats for the first time. Moreover, the state forms an international boundary with China.

L R Sharma, Sundernagar

Underused veggie market

The state-of-the-art Fruit and Vegetable Market in Sector 65, Mohali, is said to be the first such market in the North India. It accommodates, inter alia, 234 raised platforms of 6x8 size each which are fully covered on top, but open on the sides. But the fruit and vegetables available at these platforms are generally of poor quality, for which there is least demand, resulting in underutilisation of this infrastructure created from public funds. On the other hand, the unauthorised weekly/biweekly ‘apni mandi’in the adjoining open area is doing good business. The fruit and vegetable market management needs to come up to the expectations of the consumers.


Caste cleavage

This refers to Prof DR Chaudhry’s article “Sharp caste cleavage in Haryana: Jats reservations alienate OBCs, others from Congress” (May 24). I share the writer’s view that the BJP’s landslide victory is in proportion to the people’s revulsion to Congress rule which was marked by massive scams, rising prices, misgovernance and a host of other failings.

In fact, the Congress-led UPA-II government never bothered about the sufferings of the common people who felt squeezed by the rising prices. Corporate houses, big traders and real estate players made a fast buck everywhere. With a weak Prime Minister, speculators and dubious brokers of all types thrived.

In Haryana, the announcement of reservation for Jats did not help the Congress as it had expected during the General Election, though a section of Jats was quite vocal in its support for the Hooda government. The OBCs (Ahirs, Sainis and Gujjars) were certainly not very happy with the Congress as they feared an obvious dent in their own OBC quota because of the newly created Special Backward Class (SBC) status for Jats.

Also, the infighting within the Congress was at its peak and many of its leaders were criticising one another during the election campaign.


Governance and Ganga

This refers to the article “Ganga finds a powerful new ‘putra’” (May 25). The enactment of any new legislation vis-ŕ-vis cleaning Ganga is no panacea. We already have comprehensive legislations which can be deployed to deal with any deviation from environment standards. The need is the effective implementation of the NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority) programme formulated in 2009.

As per the government analysis, untreated municipal sewage accounts for nearly 75 per cent and industrial waste for around 20 per cent of the pollution of the Ganga. Most of the industries disposing of the waste into the river are small-scale industries and have no resources to meet the discharge standards.

Will implementing stringent laws leading to their closure be the right move? They need to be aided sufficiently for waste treatment. Nearly 3,000 mld (million litres per day) municipal waste is discharged into the river and the present treatment capacity is of only around 1000 mld. As per the status report (June 2013) of the NGRBA, projects enhancing sewage treatment capacity by meagre 44.23 mld have been completed and others are still in progress. The requirement is to prioritise and fast-track the projects conceived under NGRBA programme.


Man rail crossings

The news item “UP minister dies in accident” (May 19) is shameful for the Railways as well as the state government. A series of accidents has occurred due to the negligence of vehicle drivers or unmanned railway crossings.

Staff must be deputed at unmanned crossings to save lives.

Nikhil Sharma, Bilaspur

Absent babus

Interestingly, 18 DCs and 22 SSPs were found absent from duty on a particular day. The situation of the state leadership at the Punjab Secretariat is worse. The CM and his deputy attended office that day after a gap of 10 days as both were busy in Delhi for some “urgent piece of work.” Many ministers remain absent for months together.

Who is to be blamed? Are they not accountable?

LALIT SEHGAL, via email

What’s in a tear

The editorial “What’s in a tear” (May 22) tries to interpret the intentions behind the tears of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a beautiful and meaningful way. Let us accept as true the intentions of our leader and interpret his tears as sign of true love for fellow Indians. Kabir’s couplet reflects the meaning beautifully: “Prem chipaya na chipe, ja ghat pargat hoye; jo pe mukh bole nahi, to nain det hai roye.”

Dr V K Anand, Patiala

Hockey ignored

Though hockey is our national game, hockey tournaments are telecast less than other games. Children are interested in cricket as it is shown more in the media. Hockey matches must also be covered more in the media.

Meenakshi, Bassi Pathana

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: letters@tribuneindia.com


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