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

Solution to water woes

A solution to the Punjab water crisis can be found from that given by John Briscoe of the World Bank in New Delhi on October 6, 2005. It was titled “India’s Water Economy — Bracing for a Turbulent Future-Manage Water Resources-users should be prepared to pay charges”. It was suggested that Punjab should demand royalty for the water it provides to non-riparian states. Punjab cannot afford to continue with the magnanity of giving away a “readily saleable commodity free of cost.” Examples cited in the regard by the World Bank expert were: i) Singapore paying to Malaysia for water; ii) Gibralter paying to Spain; and iii) Israel to Turkey.

Dr GS Dhillon, Amritsar

Property tax

The Haryana Government has levied property tax in urban areas @ Rs 3 per square yard for a one-kanal house (500 sq yard) while HUDA has mentioned 420 square metres for one kanal in the allotment letter. The entire area of 502 square yards is charged @ Rs 4.50 per square yard because of technical conversion of 420 square metres to 502 square yards. The government should remove this anomaly by modifying the notification inter alia as under 500 square yards and 420 metres @ Rs 3 per square yards.

O P Verma, Chandigarh

UN must broker peace

The series of conflicts spread over different pockets of the world, including Israel-Palestine, West Asia, India-Pakistan and Ukraine, clearly indicate the failure of the UNSC to maintain peace around the globe. Changes in its governing body are needed. The UNSC must invite every stakeholder to counter the uphill task of creating a peaceful ambience in the world.

GURDEEP SINGH, Raiwali (Naraingarh)

Meddle with law

I disagree with the views expressed in the editorial “Don't Meddle with Law” (July 16). Of late, cases of rape and murder by juveniles have been on the rise. Maneka Gandhi is right in seeking the lowering of age for juvenile justice from 18 to 16 years. The following actions are also needed in this regard: i) A study should be conducted to find out how many criminals lodged in various jails had committed crimes when they were below 18 years to know whether the juvenile law system is helping society reform the children or not. ii) Whenever any crime is committed by a juvenile, the media, NGOs, society start questioning the responsibility of the police, government, schools, etc, but nobody questions the parents. Actually, parents are mainly responsible for the proper upbringing of their children and helping them become good and responsible citizens. In case parents fail in their main duty of grooming their children well, a provision should be made in law to punish them also.

Col Madan Lal, Ambala Cantt

Taxpayer unhappy

I endorse the argument of the editorial “Focus on jobs and growth” that the sops offered are small (July 11). The salaried class taxpayers are not pleased with the hike in the income tax exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. They were expecting a raise to Rs 5 lakh following reports in this regard a few days before the presentation of the Budget in the Lok Sabha.

The way the price of tomato has soared in recent days from Rs 40 to Rs 60-70 per kg is disturbing. Potatoes and onions have also become quite costly. It seems that hoarders and speculators are not afraid of government wrath. Industrialists and big traders seem to be quite happy with the Budget, but farmers and agricultural workers have been callously ignored.


Budget disappointing

It is difficult to find hope of ‘achhe din’ in the Punjab Budget-2014. The economy of the state is going down due to low rainfall and spoiled grains. Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa focused on fiscal deficit but didn’t mentioned the industrial growth. Nor did he give any hope of getting jobs to the youth .

Ritu Thakur, Panchkula

Collapse of bye-laws

Every now and then we come across news reports regarding some under-construction building collapsing, causing heavy loss of precious life. Such accidents are the result of laxity on the part of the state in implementing building bye-laws. Builders, developers as also government officials who pass such building plans or allow such constructions to take place without the mandatory provisions in place must be made to compensate for the loss.

Surinder Kumar Jindal, Samana

Era of darkness

In a country of 1.2 billion people, where around 404 million have no electricity and a majority suffers chronic power cuts, how do we ensure uninterrupted and sustainable electricity? Also, we have a shortage of coal. Then there is insufficient political willpower to either utilise the coal mines to the full or increase the efficiency of aging thermal power plants. Financially-crippled utilities have become a liability, especially when the in-house coal produced is never enough and India constantly depends on imported coal to increase capacity. We also have to look into how the electricity is delivered to the end-consumer. India has invested very little towards revamping its high-tension transmission cables, resulting in big transmission losses and electricity thefts.


Weather predictions

Apropos the news story on rains, there is no reference about monsoon showers for Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ferozepur districts (July 19). The Met Department does not mostly report weather conditions in these districts in spite of the fact that Sangrur district is contributing the highest for the central pool of foodgrains. It is the highest paddy- and wheat-growing district in Punjab for many years. The department must forecast the weather for Sangrur on a daily basis, along with the other districts. Sangrur and Bathinda were considered backward districts a few years back, but due to hard work of farmers after provision of irrigation, power and other infrastructure, these districts have shown development. Equal facilities should be provided to these districts for further growth and development.

MS Khangura, Mohali



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