|Tuesday, February 15, 2000,
Rooftop rain-water harvesting
THE news item Water-table fall sets alarm bells ringing (Feb 11) suggests rooftop rain-water harvesting as one of the remedies for taking care of the rapidly falling water-table in Amritsar. This one is very appealing theoretically, but in practice it has a number of constraints which are being ignored. The rate at which ground-water gets recharged is much slower than that at which rain falls and, therefore, only a small portion of it can be used when it is falling. This constraint cannot be overcome without some storage arrangement, but it requires land which is just not available in congested cities.In June, 1999, the Government of India launched a project based on this remedy for the city of Delhi with great fanfare. A full-page advertisement was issued in a leading newspaper explaining the method which the people should adopt for their buildings. The Prime Minister of India and the Minister of Water Resources extolled this remedy and this created great hopes. The latter was so optimistic that he even made a prediction that the people of Delhi would be comfortable with water supplies during the summer of the year 2000 and beyond.
The scheme has, however, failed to take off as the response from the public has been nil because of the inbuilt constraints. It is now being tried in such government buildings where land for storage is available. The number of such buildings is too small to be able to make any impact on the depleting water-table in Delhi. This bitter experience should be kept in view while preparing a similar scheme for Amritsar.
S. P. MALHOTRA,
I take strong exception to the letter by Mr Harish Khanna and Mr Janak Khanna in which they say that people in the West are more selfish than Indians. I think it is time we stop giving ourselves airs and trying to show ourselves in a morally superior light by degrading others. That is not how strong communities like ours are supposed to behave.
Why do some people always feel the need to benchmark themselves against the West every time?
What happened to the elderly gentleman was shameful and deplorable, but to say that it doesnt happen to folks whose kids live in India itself is deluding oneself.
In the USA, 70 per cent of the families donate to charities; people have been known to leave well-established jobs just to go for social service.
How many people in India have the guts or the courage of conviction to do that? People here care a lot about their families too, and go to great lengths to keep the family structure intact. It is time someone set the record straight.
For efficient system
We are poor, illiterate, unemployed and houseless people wearing rags. Most people complain of exploitation. If we go deeper into all these problems, we come to the conclusion that till we have well-educated, well-trained and well-settled people, we would not be in a position to solve the problems being faced by this country.
People who are not well educated and well trained cannot be fixed in proper trades. Till they are properly adjusted they will never be bringing regular and adequate income in the family. Till a proper and regular income is not forthcoming in the family, people will never be able to arrange for proper education and proper training of their wards. They will never be efficient and we will continue to suffer because of this inefficiency at all levels. When people are properly educated, they will be sending well-educated and well-trained experts to the legislatures who can sit together and discuss the problems of the country. It will be better if we go ahead with such planning as can bring proficiency at all levels.
I liked the editorial Pilot shows the way (February 10), giving Mr Rajesh Pilot, an eminent Congress leader, a pat on his back for betraying the courage of conviction by keeping his daughters marriage a conspicuously low-key family affair and thus setting a much-needed healthy precedent.
What a refreshing contrast to the wedding extravaganza being brazen-facedly indulged in by VVIPs! Indeed, a laudable example for the countrys politicians to emulate!
Would the so-called VVIPs take the requisite cue and give the wasteful extravaganza vis-a-vis marriages a go-by once and for all? Alas, it seems altogether a moot point, candidly speaking. How sad!
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