|M A I L B A G||
Thursday, December 2, 1999
Falling level of ground water
FOR the last 20 years or so, we have been hearing the alarm bells being rung by the falling level of ground water in Punjab and Haryana. During this long period the governments of these states have not shown any inclination for finding a solution to this problem. This delay has not only proved fatal for the economical working of private tubewells but is also posing a very serious threat to the ecology of these states; brackish water from the adjoining areas can intrude into the places where the level of ground water remains depleted for prolonged periods. This can cause an irreversible ecological disaster.
Thus a stage has now been reached that, if for no other reason, at least for this one, the state governments should come into motion and do something to prevent the worst from happening.
For a layman the most logical remedy would be to appeal to the good sense of farmers to reduce the withdrawal of water to safe limits in their own interest. Apart from being anti-development, this is unpractical also. The use of ground water is integrated with that of the canal one and hence any unilateral change in the status of the former would have serious repercussions on the utility of the later.
If the withdrawals cannot be reduced the only option left is to step up recharging of ground water by artificial methods. Both states are ideally suited for such a method because they happen to possess plenty of the essential raw material unusable water. This is available in the monsoon season in the form of rainwater run off coupled with overflow from the rice fields spread over vast tracts. At present all this water is being allowed to go waste via a network of drains. A number of recharging stations, where drain water will be desilted before using it for recharging, can be set up all along the drains. These shall not use any energy and shall work round the clock. Economically, they would be self-supporting as their cost and working expenses would be more than offset by saving in the subsidy for electricity for tubewells.
If the private tubewells in Punjab and Haryana have to be saved from extinction the public and the Press should persuade the two governments to shake off their inertia and make at least a start before the next monsoon to do whatever they deem proper to restore the normal levels of ground water.
Signals from Pakistan dangerous decline in politicians credibility (November 15) by Mr K. Gopalakrishnan rightly indicates the likely outcome of the fast declining moral values in politics. Indian reputation is fading the world over.
The recent UN Development Programme (UNDP) report has categorised India as one of the most corrupt and poorly governed countries in the South Asian region. Undemocratic behaviour of our elected representatives on the floor of legislative assemblies and Parliament is regularly making a mockery of democracy. Ignoring the moral values and total non-responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of the masses by politicians is eroding the nations confidence.
Public aspirations begin with the bread and shelter. The elimination of poverty is still the prime need of India after 50 years of Independence. The masses at large are preoccupied with getting the next meal. Good governance is a nightmare. Hopelessness has overshadowed public aspirations.
Transparency, accountability, rule of law and honesty are no more the subjects of interest for our politicians.
* * * *
Haryanas ad hoc teachers
The Chautala government in Haryana has announced to recruit 12,000 fresh teachers. This has put a question mark on the future of the teachers working on an ad hoc basis for four to six years. The appointment of fresh teachers will obviously result in the ad hoc teachers losing their jobs. This is immoral.
Basically, these ad hoc teachers were appointed on the basis of their merit after having been called for an interview in accordance with their seniority as determined by the employment exchange. What is the fun in removing these ad hoc teachers by selecting new ones following the same procedure when those already working have sufficient experience to perform their duties efficiently?
Logic says that the ad hoc teachers should be first regularised. If there are still vacancies left, these should be filled with fresh recruitment.
| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Chandigarh |
| Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |