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Curtail holidays

The Punjab Government is observing 34 gazetted holidays, besides allowing two restricted holidays and four second half holidays. This takes the total number of holidays, including Sundays and Saturdays, to 142. It means that government offices are open only on 61 per cent days in a year. It is irrational and unjustified. Many people have not even heard about the personalities on whose birth anniversaries holidays are observed. The number of holidays must be curtailed, even if it requires judicial intervention. I retired from Coal India where only eight holidays are allowed to its office and field staff with Saturdays also as working days.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra, Chandigarh

Pvt nurseries ailing

Healthy orchards can only be raised through healthy plants from reliable nurseries. Nursery production work is not child's play. It requires a lot of effort and technical knowhow. The cost of kinnow plants at private registered nurseries is Rs 25 with earthballs and and Rs 30 in polybags. However, it is Rs 40 and Rs 50 at PAU, respectively. If PAU is unable to sell the plants at a low cost when it has its own highly trained staff and land, then why are private nurseries being forced to sell plants at such an unremunerable price by the state Horticulture Department? Due to the high costs of input and maintenance of polynets, it is becoming difficult for the private nurseries to supply plants at these low prices. If these nurseries were to stop production, it will be a great loss to the state. Infrastructure raised by them shall go waste. PAU and government nurseries would not be able to meet the plant requirements of the farmers.

It will be beneficial to all concernmed if the private nurseries are also allowed to sell plants at PAU rates. The government can give subsidy to its farmers. Charity at the cost of others is not desirable.

Dr KK Sharma, Ludhiana

Shun superstition

People are falling into the trap of superstitions. There is no dearth of tantriks/babas, claiming to solve all problems of life. People of all ages and even educated ones are indulging in mindless rituals and believe in irritational acts. I am expected to wear the ‘rudraksha’ all the time to ward off evil spirits.

What is the use of investing in education, I wonder? Scientific temper should be inculcated in all, especially among the young ones.

Isha Sharma, Kurali

Quota system

The caste-based reservation system is not the right policy of our government. The quota system should not be based on caste/subcaste but on economic conditions. This will prove effective in removing poverty from our country. In the present system, it is not necessary that the people enjoying the benefits are poor and needy. They may be economically strong and yet enjoying the quota. On the contrary, there are many people who are economically poor, but do not come under the quota. The needy ones are, thus, deprived of getting a chance to uplift.

Neha Jasritia, Pathankot

Potholed stretch

The news item “Rotary Club members fill potholes on NH-21” (August 25) is an eyeopener. The national highway stretch from Bilaspur to Mandi has been dotted with potholes nearly three feet long and more than one foot deep for over a year. The rainy season has worsened the condition of this road to such an extent that even heavy vehicles find it hard to move. There is also a huge rush of domestic and foreign tourists to Kullu and Manali during this season.

The Tribune has been highlighting the plight of the highway for six months, but the PWD National Highway wing and the NHAI authorities have paid little heed. The PWD, in this age of satellites and internet, still follows the practices of yore when the road network was 1/25th of what it is today. New working rules need to be formulated.

Er LR Sharma, Sundernagar

Rain havoc

The recent rains in Himachal Pradesh have caused widespread loss to life and property. Many roads and bridges have been washed away. Though the tragedy is not manmade, negligence on the part of the authorities cannot be overlooked.

Some major bridges have been damaged to such an extent that it has necessitated diversion of traffic on many routes. Repair work in such cases is woefully inadequate and slow. For example, in Kangra, the construction of the Bathu bridge has been hanging fire for many years.

Santosh Kumar Jamwal, Hamirpur

Old bridges

Apropos the news about the collapse of the Sadhupul PWD bridge near Kandaghat in HP on August 23, the officials claim that they have displayed notice boards on either side of the bridge that it can bear a load of nine tonnes only. Road users should know that such old bridges are built for vehicles weighing not more than nine tonnes.

Other examples of such old heritage bridges include the ones near Kotla Mataur and Bathu in Kangra district. These structures are also designed and built for loads not more than 10 tonnes. But a large number of vehicles can be seen mounting these bridges bumper to bumper. The government should ensure that only one vehicle mounts these bridges at a time, lest the last staw breaks the back of the camel.

KL Noatay, Shimla

Misplaced sympathy

Kudos to Sukhpreet Kaur Dhindsa for well-reasoned arguments in the article “A case of misplaced sympathy” (August 25). She has made a strong case against the juvenile justice system. Unless there is a deterrent punishment, crimes cannot be checked. She has hit the nail on the head when she says that “a child becomes accountable for his act as soon as the realisation of what can harm or hurt him dawns upon him as he simultaneously knows the effect of the act on the other.”

Crimes can be and have been controlled in Saudi Arabia by the ‘tooth-for-tooth’ principle. The same needs to be followed here in India.

OP Gupta, Parwanoo

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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