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Heritage tourism

Apropos the news report “State to focus on heritage tourism” (September 13), despite the Centre's call to corporate houses for greening and cleaning, no one showed up in Himachal Pradesh to set up tourism infrastructure. Even the state government has failed to maintain its basic tourism infrastructure. Most roads linking popular tourist places remain either damaged or blocked due to landslides, giving invitation to accidents. Popular tourist destinations are overcrowded, with no measure to disperse the tourists to the satellite areas. Shimla, Manali and Dharamsala are among such places that need leisure activities such as conducted tours, ropeways, trekking and site-seeing.

Heritage places and parks also need a facelift. Asia's biggest Shivalik Fossil Park, set up decades ago by the Archaeological Department of India at Suketi in Sirmaur district and a big draw of students and teachers from all over, is facing ruin and neglect. Huge fibreglass models of animals are crying for rehabilitation.

The Himachal Pradesh Government should allocate funds liberally for the restoration of roads linking tourist destinations.

RM Ramaul, Paonta Sahib

Sin or virtue?

We feed stray animals. These animals wander in congested roads or bazaars and deliver excreta. We do it from the religious point of view, as told by our gurus. These stray animals may become the cause of severe accidents in which many human beings are killed. On one side we want to get rid of our sins committed by us knowingly or unknowingly, on the other, we may become the main source of other persons' tragedies. Should we not ponder about such follies? Are we committing sins or virtues?

Dilbar Ali Meerak, Tohana

Farmer suicides

Farmers are committing suicide because they are overburdened with huge debts, which they fail to repay on account of floods. There are banking schemes for their welfare, but they are not of much use since the core problem remains unresolved. Now the government has decided to promote direct seeding of paddy, but how many will sow it? Many farmers sell their lands to send their children abroad so that they can get relief from the tension-ridden life here. Due to debt and poverty, farmers’ children are unable to get education as per today’s demand. While the entrance exams are getting tougher, the standard of education in government schools is falling due to shortage of teachers. According to a recent survey, drug addiction, theft and brain drain are on the rise in the state.

Neena Chawla, via email

End of a world

This refers to the news item from Tarn Taran “Forced to go to school, boy ends life” (September 20). Follow-up reports probing into the sad event must also be published. One thing is certain: the boy must have been under stress and depression. School as well family must have left him in the lurch without giving him any aid to come out of the agony he might have been suffering. This reminds one of the absence of atmosphere envisaged in “Where the mind is without fear and head is held high” by Rabindranath Tagore. A boy of 12 is supposed to enjoy his life playing, reading, kiteflying, knitting dreams. Alas! It was the end of a world for him. Left behind are the shattered near and dear ones. The incident calls for a deep look into the psychological needs of children.

Karan Luthra, Hariana (Hoshiarpur)

Tragic suicides

What a tragedy that 8 lakh people commit suicide in the world in a year for one reason or another. Of them, nearly half are from India and China. In India, farmers commit suicide due to the debt trap, brides burn themselves because of dowry demands and youth die on account of love frustrations and drug addiction. Sometimes poverty becomes the cause for people to go into oblivion. The cases of suicide seen in the rich class are attributed to lust and lecherous life-style. The role of the government and society is vital in stopping this menace which is a blot on society and humanity.

RC DHAND, Bathinda

Violence in HPU

The recent violence in Himachal Pradesh University is a rarity in the history of the university. The ongoing agitation has not only disturbed the peaceful atmosphere of the campus but also vitiated the academic atmosphere. Issues related to fee hike and elections can be resolved peacefully by the newly constituted committee. The student community should not act in an unruly manner and must behave like civilised individuals. Violent activities can mar the careers of the students involved in illegal activities. The administration and the students should try to resolve the matter and normalcy should be restored on the campus.

Dr Gitanjali Bhatia, Shimla

Let AIIMS be in Bilaspur

The Himachal Pradesh Government is working towards finalising a suitable place in the state to set up an AIIMS sanctioned by the Centre. Leaders are playing all sorts of games to get the institute set up in their constituencies. Bilaspur district has always been deprived of development due to the indifferent attitude of the local leaders. It has no higher learning institute, no big industrial project, no big hospital etc. People of the district also need development projects and institutes on a par with regions like Shimla, Mandi, Una, Hamirpur and Solan. Setting up AIIMS in Bilaspur will be appropriate to cater to the needs of patients of the area and give an opportunity to local people for their economic growth.

Dr SS Verma, Longowal (Sangrur)

Bathinda-Chandigarh train

Bhagwant Mann, AAP MP from Punjab, has rightly raised the issue in Parliament of connecting Rajpura with Saneta, near Mohali. This 21-km missing rail link will definitely be a direct link from Bathinda-Barnala-Patiala to Chandigarh. Till this project is made feasible, the Railways should start an intercity train between Bathinda and Chandigarh via Barnala, Patiala, Rajpura, Sirhind, Morinda and Mohali. It will be a boon for the passengers of the route.

MP SINGH, Mohali

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