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Help flood-hit

Apropos the editorial “J&K needs help” (September 11), the Army, Air Force and paramilitary forces have done a Herculean job of coming to the aid of marooned people in the unprecedented floods that have devastated southern J&K. Modi responded with help without delay. Lakhs of people have been saved and evacuated. There are some pockets where the approach is difficult. As the water recedes, there is apprehension of an epidemic. Food and other life support items have been damaged, houses which remained submerged in 20 feet of water have to be repaired extensively and the communication system needs to be established as it is essential for connectivity with the needy. Huge funds are needed to rehabilitate the people hit by the tragedy. It is heartening to note that the whole of India is helping them.

Karnail Singh, Kharar

Salute to Army

The incident of Kashmiris throwing stones at Armymen is condemnable even as the Army is executing rescue and relief operations in the valley, demonstrating its valour in dealing with such situations. Where are the terrorists who claim to fight for the people of Kashmir? Why did they not come to the help of people in distress?

Parmeet Singh, Jalandhar

Proud of gurdwaras

Service to mankind is service to God, says the Gita. The flood situation in Jammu & Kashmir demands help and support for the victims. Families, animals and vegetation have been washed away by nature’s cruel mood. The SGPC is doing a commendable service by sending food packets in lakhs to J&K for our starving brothers and sisters. Other gurdwara committees too have joined hands in this difficult time. We should all extend help to the J&K people.

The SGPC has also, on request, been sending medicines to the rain-ravaged state as people are facing shortage of essential drugs. I salute the SGPC and other gurdwara committees for their contribution and especially to the volunteers who are working day and night for this noble cause. God bless them all.


Return of Pandits

Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to give land in the Kashmir valley for housing the displaced Kashmiri Pandits languishing in tents for more than two decades, is in pursuance of the policy of the NDA government. It is to ensure their safety before persuading them to return to their homeland. Kuldip Nayar’s perception of this being a political move to intrude the composite culture in the article “Religious divide in Kashmir” (September 17) is devoid of any logic. His contention that it will lead to a religious divide is not cogent and convincing.

Separatists spit venom against the Government of India. Their threats during the Amarnath and Vaishno Devi pilgrimages and the recent stone-throwing incidents on Army helicopters providing relief to the flood-affected victims are glaring examples of hatred in their mind. How can the Kashmiri Pandits return in view of the lack of safety? Nayar’s harping on the unity of days gone by does not win fancy with the new generation. Sheikh Abdullah’s vision and Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s emotions have become history. Modi’s quick response to the flood-hit people of Jammu & Kashmir and providing succour in the calamitous circumstances has belied the notion of his being anti-Muslim.


Kashmiri Pandits

Floods struck the Kashmir valley in 1957, submerging a number of villages in Anantnag and Baramulla districts. But then the Jhelum, which flows through Srinagar, did not breach its embankments, hence the the city was saved.

The recent floods have brought havoc in 80% of the valley. Aerial pictures of the submerged valley reminded me of the epic ‘Rajtarangini’ which states that centuries ago, the Kashmir valley was a vast lake of water known as ‘Satisar’ and that a small population then dwelt in the dense forests of the hills surrounding it. With time, the lake transformed into the modern valley. The Kashmiris who are facing the brunt of the natural disaster will, in time, come back on track.

But what about the manmade disaster that struck more than 3 lakh Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, forcing them to leave behind their properties to save their life and honour for no fault of theirs? They were denied the right of living in the land of their forefathers.

MK KOUL, Ambala Cantt

Fuel VAT hike unjust

The Himachal Pradesh Government’s proposal of 2% VAT hike in petroleum fuel has been opposed by petroleum dealers (“Petrol pump dealers want hike in VAT deferred”, September 24). The dealers argue that the hike would adversely affect tourism. This appears true as the tourists already pay toll tax at several toll barriers en route the hill stations and green tax as well.

Good governance involves soothing the high prices of essential items. The people are wary of the government’s extravagance. The creation of a number of non-productive high profile posts and opening of new offices and colleges at non-viable stations to satisfy the whims of a few politicians are some instances of wastage of public money.

Er L R Sharma, Sundernagar

Don’t burn garbage

It should be a matter of concern that despite the Supreme Court orders, trash and garbage continue to be burnt openly. This undesirable method causes avoidable air pollution which is a health hazard. Such trash contains many types of materials, including plastic waste. The smoke and poisonous fumes generated by burning the plastic are harmful to people and vegetation. The responsibility of the safe disposal of garbage and compliance of the SC orders lies with the city authorities. We have access to modern methods of waste management such as turning it into organic manure or generating energy and other similar useful byproducts from it. There is also a need to create awareness about this amongst the public and sanitation workforce as well as for punitive action against those who err.

Subhash Kaura, Yamunanagar

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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