L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Ban up in smoke

Smoking in public places is banned under the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008. While travelling to Himachal from Delhi, I stopped in Chandigarh to board another bus to Nahan. At a ticket counter in the Sector 43 bus stand, I was surprised to see the conductor giving tickets smoking a beedi. It was annoying for everyone there as they had to inhale the smoke. Policemen were patrolling, but they did not intervene. The authorities should act against such defaulters.

Suber Singh Parihar, Nadaun

Miserable power cuts

Even as the mercury soars, scheduled and unscheduled power cuts have made life miserable. The tall claims of the state government of making Punjab a power-surplus state have fallen flat. These cuts also affect the water supply in the cities. Every year, Powercom tries to justify the cuts by stating that the gap between demand and supply has widened. The authorities should do advance planning and take pre-emptive steps to save people from this inconvenience before the onset of the summer season.

NK Gosain, Bathinda

Governance at its low

Himachal Pradesh has limited revenue resources. It largely depends on aid from the Centre to meet its expenses. However, the number of government employees and officers with respect to the total population in the state is the highest in the country. Despite this, the quality and output by the government is poor. Contrary to Modi’s slogan of “minimum government, maximum governance”, the state seems to believe in “maximum government, minimum governance.”

Ashok Bahl Jayanti, Kangra

Save addicts

With reference to the editorial “Shaking off the daze” (June 6), it's good that the Punjab Government is taking steps to free the state of the drug menace. It must crack down on the drug peddlers and not the victims of drug use who need help to come out of this habit. The government must take help of the CRPF and BSF because most of the drug trade is being controlled from across the border. There is no point in punishing the victims further who are vulnerable to police extortions as well.

The awareness drive to curb the drug menace by the Punjab Police is praiseworthy. From the number of people arrested, one can imagine the extent of the problem Punjab is facing. The police should catch the operators rather than chase peddlers to nip the evil in the bud. If the menace is not dealt with soon, it will destroy the youth. The culprits should be given exemplary punishment and their cases decided by fast-track courts.

Ashok Goswami, Amritsar

Debt of farmers

The editorial “Debt of a farmer” (May 30) sounded like the “death of a farmer.” Beyond doubt, debt has led to the death of many farmers in Punjab. Almost daily, we read of such painful stories. Unable to pay debt, some helpless farmers commit suicide.

In some cases, many members of a family commit suicide. The foremost reason for most of such deaths is the ‘agents’ of unscrupulous bank employees who lure small farmers into taking loans by charging 20 per cent commission. The farmers are told to pay in easy instalments in two, three or five years. They are even told by the agents to pay the instalments for just one year as the balance would be waived or written off.

Poor farmers fall into this suicidal trap and take loan even if not required. The agents earn 20 per cent commission, which is shared with unscrupulous bank staff. These culprits live lavish lives. But the poor farmer who ultimately is unable to clear the loan or debt has no escape route and commits suicide as he is unable to cope with the humiliation and embarrassment in society.

The police and court officials are in league with these agents and bank staff. This nexus needs to be broken if further suicides of farmers are to  be stopped.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Finish flyovers

The construction of a number of flyovers on NH-1, between Ludhiana and Rajpura, has been left incomplete. Apart from the fact that a large amount of money has been blocked due to the halt in construction, the incomplete flyovers present an unpleasant look.

GR Kalra, Panchkula

Penalty not harsh enough

Violent crimes against girls and women are increasing in India (“Meghalaya woman shot for resisting rape”, June 4). Those harassing the girls and women, are hardly punished. And if punished, the punishment is not harsh enough that it acts as a deterrent. A majority of the culprits go unpunished. The cruelty that the tribal Garo woman suffered is horrible, cruel and inhuman.

Round-the-clock police patrolling on the roads, in public places, markets and parks could bring safety to the girls and women. Further, the government must frame harsh laws to punish the offenders.

Maheswar Deka, Rangia

Seat belt safety

Jaspal Bhatti died in a car accident. He could have survived had he been wearing a seat belt. After his death, a campaign to popularise the use of safety belts for passengers sitting on rear car seats was started. However, it died down soon. Now, Munde has died due to this lag and the shrieks of making seat belts compulsory for rear seat car passengers have started coming out of the publicity-seeking campaigners. Hope the demand does not peter out.

BALViNDER, Chandigarh

Save environment

June 5 is world environment day. Every year, the government functions to mark the day seem to be just a formality. The dangers of environment degradation are not small. Population explosion is one of its main causes. We need a comprehensive plan to redress the problem. The objective should be to make it a concern among the masses. Nothing is as important as air, water, soil and life on earth.

Ravinder Kumar Udha, Jalandhar City

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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