Don’t kill coal
Apropos of the report “India’s green energy plan makes global coal lobby jittery” (FE, September 7). Coal is still the poor man’s fuel. Hawkers use it to sell bhutta (corn), groundnuts, etc, dhobis to press clothes. India needs to sustain its coal industry as it gives employment to thousands. The nation has not made much progress in solar power generation. We have mega thermal power plants which use coal, and these need to be renovated to confirm to better pollution standards, not closed down. The old coal locomotives are used as tourist attractions and they generate revenues, too. The over-enthusiasm on the front of green energy initiatives should not lead us to blindly kill the coal sector. There are shops selling coal only which can be found in mega cities also. In Mumbai’s Goregaon area, there are shops selling coal only and they have been in business for decades. India should perk up its thermal power stations to take advantage of the falling coal prices globally.
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai
Trust deficit over Kashmir
It is unfortunate that an all-party delegation seeking to end turbulence in Jammu & Kashmir had to conclude its two- day visit of Valley without any breakthrough. Though the delegation felt satisfied after meeting some 300 Kashmiris in 30 separate groups, the Hurriyat leaders, who consider themselves as stakeholders in the state’s political future, did not entertain the parliamentarians. In light of the refusal of Hurriyat leaders, we have to critically examine the on-ground situation. Kashmiris have lost faith in the all-party delegations and the government; many are raising questions on the credibility of such efforts. Further, the BJP government, not being serious on solving this issue, did not want to send any all-party delegation. It was only under compulsions from the Opposition parties that it agreed. Further, the Union government has not sent any formal invitation to the Hurriyat for talks with the delegation. Some MPs like Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Sharad Yadav went to meet the separatists in their individual capacity. On the other hand, the Hurriyat leaders should understand that the Valley burst into violence, thanks to skirmishes between the armed paramilitary and military forces and the youth of the state under the influence of radical Islam. Thus, there is a trust deficit at its peak. Undoubtedly, the beginnings for discussion are not very good, but here is an opportunity for both parties to make sustained efforts such as release of arbitrarily arrested youth, compensation etc.
Satish Khosla, Chandigarh