Monday, April 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Pollution — threat to human existence

THIS refers to the report “Pollution survey rings alarm” that appeared in The Tribune of April 2. Pollution is killing us day by day but we are not fully aware of it. The teachers and students of Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Bathinda, have done a good job towards society by making the people aware of the side-effects of polluted air and water by distributing pamphlets and holding an awakening march in this regard in the city.

The survey conducted has brought out some surprising aspects of water and air pollution. Many residents of Bathinda city have already been suffering from heart problems and respiratory disorder for the past many years.

Besides, a weed known as parthenium — also called congress grass — is growing on vacant land in almost all parts of the city posing yet another health hazard to the public. Moreover, being an industrial city, untreated industrial effluents are adding more to the miseries of residents. People living near industrial units are more prone to ailments, especially irritation. The underground water, as the survey revealed and according to Health Department sources, is totally unfit for human consumption owing to the presence of a high level of iron, sulphates, chlorides, etc, in it.


  To educate the people in the light of pollution-related problems and to improve the health of the public, more and more well-planned and environment-related awareness campaigns, marches, seminars and other projects should be conducted effectively by the government and social organisations.


Lucky Nawaz Sharif

Mr Nawaz Sharif must thank his stars that he has been spared death penalty. He had full sympathy of all the politicians of the world, whether friends or enemies of Pakistan. This has proved that all the politicians are united throughout the world.

People who thought that law takes its own course must have realised that the judge who tried Mr Sharif was influenced by Mr Bill Clinton and other world leaders, whatever he might have written on the files. Law took the back seat. Life-term does not mean anything to a leader. He would be released from jail the moment an elected government takes over in Pakistan.

By the way, whom should Mr Nawaz Sharif thank? His stars or the politicians around the world?


Indo-Pak ties

US President Bill Clinton finally visited India which, true to its culture and traditions, gave him a taste of Indian way of welcome, bestowing the visit with a “honeymoon glow from start to finish”.

Playing the charmer, with an address before the joint session of Parliament and elsewhere — wherever he went — Mr Clinton’s visit held the promise of a significant shift in relations between the two countries. In fact, the Clinton administration and the Indian government both have recognised the need for a closer and multifaceted relationship in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the cold war, growing terrorism, recognition of India’s economic potential, nuclearisation of the subcontinent and the Kargil conflict, when Pakistan, in the words of Mr Clinton, tried to “redraw borders in blood”.

Mr Clinton, therefore, went on a one-man crusade to dissolve decades of distrust between India and the USA. With a deft diplomatic touch, he also declared that he had no intention to get involved in the subcontinent’s tangled politics by playing “peace broker” or indulging in mediation in the “interminable dispute” of Kashmir, though Pakistani rulers did their best to present Kashmir as “the diplomatic minefield” of “the most dangerous place in the world today”.

In a nationally telecast speech before Indian Parliament Mr Clinton declared: “Only India can determine if it will benefit from expanding its nuclear and missile capabilities if its neighbours respond by doing the same thing.”

In the words of Mr Abid Hussain, former Indian Ambassador to the USA, the “scratches on the minds” of the US Administration are being obliterated. Indeed, both sides have realised the need to “redraw the images of each other”.

The two countries did their best not to let their differences come in the way of building a “strong and cooperative strategic relationship”. As such, India, the largest democracy with 600 million voters, in the US perception today, is an economic power with a potential of growth and vast opportunities for trade and investment and an enormous scope for cooperation in energy, environment and information technology. The vibrant Indian diaspora adds a new and welcome dimension to the strengthening Indo-US ties, which are mutually beneficial to the two nations.


The Tribune’s web pages

It is for the first time today that I have logged on to our paper. I came to know about it only yesterday. I graduated from Punjab Engineering College last year and so stayed at Chandigarh for four years. I love the city and it felt great to read about it today!

I am working as a software professional in Mumbai. I am working in an e-commerce project. I know a little about web design. The design of our web pages is very pleasing . It is really comfortable to browse through these pages. I feel as if I am back to my student days in the most beautiful city in India.


Building cities

This is to express my concern about the Punjab Chief Minister’s Anandgarh project. Fertile agricultural land of Punjab should not be wasted for building cities.

In fact, the Centre should pass a law to prevent this in any part of the country where cultivation is possible.

Indianapolis (USA)


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