Himachal Pradesh faces yet another tragic blow as the monsoon season relentlessly inflicts death and destruction, unveiling the consequences of ecological interference. The devastating toll underscores the flawed development model embraced by the state. Landslides, road collapses, and structural failures are no longer the norm. Urgent internal change is imperative. Himachal must enforce stringent regulations, inviting all stakeholders for collective action. A united front, including political, civil, and bipartisan efforts, is vital to confront this shocking reality of perpetual peril.
Mohammad Taukir, West
Champaran ‘Modi-2’: A Forwardlooking Address
In his tenth and final speech of ‘Modi-2’ from the Red Fort, the Prime Minister’s approach resonated with public sentiments, avoiding technical jargon. Notably, the shift from addressing the public as ‘brothers and sisters’ to ‘my family members’ caught attention, likely to persist till the elections. Condemning familyism and corruption, the speech hinted at future attacks on certain regional parties, including the Congress. Amid emotional appeals, the PM’s emphasis on ‘I’ over ‘we’ hinted at the upcoming election’s focus on his leadership. As dreams and credibility intertwine, the promise to fulfill them becomes a pivotal measure of a leader’s integrity.
N Ashraf, Mumbai
Rising Food Prices
India’s headline inflation has surged to a 15-month high of 7.4% in July, propelled by a shock in vegetable prices. Despite a slowdown in core inflation, which excludes food and fuel, essentials like cereals and pulses continue their uncomfortable ascent. This poses a barrier to achieving the Reserve Bank of India’s 4% CPI target. Particularly burdensome for the impoverished, high food inflation triggers political concerns. As elections loom within a year, increased governmental intervention in food markets is expected, potentially affecting farm incomes due to price-containment efforts.
Tauqueer Rahmani, Mumbai
A Landslide of Consequences
In Himachal Pradesh, unchecked construction under the pretext of promoting tourism has triggered extensive landslides. While tourism offers economic gains, the surge in construction strains resources and infrastructure. Over the years, the landscape has transformed dramatically, with a continuous stretch of lavish hotels lining the roads from Dharampur to Kasauli, far surpassing the modest beginnings of 1985. Moreover, the construction of a four-lane highway and upscale food plazas along the Parwanoo- Sanawar route compounds the challenges. The alarming trend warrants careful consideration to strike a balance between tourismdriven development and environmental sustainability.
Ramesh Gupta, Narwana