Saturday, March 10, 2001
M A I L  B O X

A disaster waiting to happen

A PROPOS of Rakesh Lohumi’s article "A disaster waiting to happen" (February 24), almost all hill stations in Himachal Pradesh have been burdened with high-rise concrete buildings, offices, hotels and tourist resorts. This adversely affects the ecological balance of the hill system and also causes landslides every now and then. Immediate steps are, therefore, required to save hill towns from further destruction.

Apart from formulating strict laws for regulating construction on hill slopes, with special emphasis on ensuring construction of quake-resistant structures, the H.P. Government must also demarcate specific areas for new constructions only on those slopes which are geologically safe.


Educated bores

Khushwant Singh’s "This above all" (February 17) seemed to be a tantrum of sorts. He decries one and all — lawyers, judges, doctors, bureaucrats, politicians, ministers, journalists, calling educated Indians "bores". Should our doctors talk law and lawyers discuss medicine? They all discuss matters of national interest such as Kashmir, raising crime, inflation and poverty at social get togethers.

I was surprised to read Khushwant say that Clintons are no longer involved in politics. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democrat Senator.


Indomitable spirit of Punjabis

Apropos of Prabhjot Singh’s "Punjabian di ho gai vaah bhai vaah" (February 17). Punjabi non-resident Indians (NRIs) are far more in number and more enterprising, innovative and adventurous than NRIs from other states.

The fact of the matter is that Punjabis as a whole, not only Punjabi NRIs, are enterprising. It was because of the sheer determination and enterprising spirit of Punjabis that Punjab could handle the problems it faced after Partition.

In the field of industry, Punjabis have contributed a lot. Faridabad, now the pride of Haryana, was created by Punjabis under the able leadership of late Partap Singh Kairon. But most of the NRIs, who come to invest in the industrial sector in Punjab go back disappointed, unable to handle numerous controls, checks and corruption.

It’s now for the Punjab Government to attend to the problems faced by Punjabi NRIs which would strengthen the industrial potential of Punjab. Parkash Singh Badal should do away with populist moves like providing water free of cost to farmers which are ruining Punjab’s economy.



This refers to "This sweet is good for your health" by Maharaj K. Koul (February 17). Honey contains 80 different ingredients of importance to living beings. It is interesting to note that honey has been used as a substitute to glucose therapy in hypoglycaemia cases in five buffaloes by a group of veterinary specialists at Agricultural University, Parbhni. In the treatment 40 per cent solution of honey was used intravenously, thereby replacing the routine glucose therapy. This is a breakthrough for medical specialists and medicine manufacturing companies. This can usher in a new era of therapy in humans and animals.

The present production of 51,000 tonnes of honey annually is too meagre in a country with a population of over one billion. Production needs to be increased. New methods for the optimum utilisation of honey need to be found.


Gearing up for a quake

Apropos of the article "What are the chances of a quake in the region?" by Prof C.S. Dubey (February 10). Modest successes have been achieved in interpreting early warning signs of earthquakes. There are also various instruments which either record tell-tale changes in land levels and contours or register the strain that builds up in rocks before a rupture. But alas, all these surveys are unable to pinpoint the exact time an earthquake may strike.

The writer aptly envisaged some steps that should be taken to combat the threat of earthquakes. For instance, the common people in earthquake-prone areas should be imparted training in the steps that should be taken in the event of an earthquake. Secondly, the formation of a disaster management fund with the help of the UNO is essential. But to talk of disaster management is one thing and to implement it is another. Therefore, if the Union Government is sincere about taking precautions against natural calamities, the implementation of disaster management plans is essential.