Tuesday, July 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



An unexploited goldmine for farmers

Charging for irrigation water by volume has remained an unrealised dream in India, the bottleneck being the unavailability of a device for measuring the volume delivered to each farmer. In the early seventies Haryana started using Warimetric for computing water volume instead of measuring it.

Warimetric has many plus points, the principal being that it dispensed with the services of canal patwaris. This means an annual saving of several crores of rupees. It liberated the farmer from the bondage in which he is held by the patwari. Administratively, it rids the system of corruption. Every farmer can himself check the accuracy of his water bill. There was to be no capital or maintenance cost.

For switching over to charging by volume, all that was left to be decided was the rate to be charged in the state as a whole. It required some time. Without waiting for this rate, in 1976 the government decided to go ahead with a pilot project for Warimetric on less than 10 outlets in Hisar district by adopting an ad hoc rate for each outlet.

Besides being absurd and tedious, this approach had a serious drawback. Such a rate was to be changed whenever the size of an outlet was changed and this was a recurring feature of all outlets. As the number of outlets under experiment was small, this drawback was tolerated.


The performance of the experiment was reviewed in 1980 and it was found that the response from farmers was overwhelming. In 1982 the government decided to increase the scope of Warimetric to more than 100 outlets.

At this stage, the government should have changed over to the unit rate for the state as a whole, but for some unknown reasons, it committed the serious mistake of continuing with the ad hoc outlet wise rates. What followed was a forgone conclusion. Workload in offices increased tremendously. What is interesting is that the government never realised its mistake and made any effort to correct it.

By 1988 the government became sick of the problems created by its own mistake and decided to stop Warimetric on all outlets. However, it still appreciates the intrinsic merits of Warimetric. It simultaneously issued instructions for continuing with a modified version of Warimetric. This meant continuing Warimetric with a unit rate for the state as a whole. It is a different matter that this part of the order has not been complied with till today. Even the unit rate has not been decided.

For want of any publicity, farmers of Haryana, the end beneficiaries of Warimetric, have remained ignorant about its benefits. They have never been allowed to participate in any thinking process for evolving a policy towards water charges and hence have never put any pressure on the government favouring Warimetric. They continue to remain deprived of the benefits of Warimetric, a goldmine that it is.

S. P. MALHOTRA, former Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation, Haryana

Our unclean cities

Our towns and cities have streets and bazaars littered with trash. Storm water drains are choked with rubbish and polythene bags. Public places are used as open urinals. Railway stations and bus stands are littered with rubbish.

Any government worth its name must give top priority to the general cleanliness of our surroundings. The government should not hesitate in adopting ruthless measures when welfare of the community is at stake.

K. K. SHARMA, Udhumgarh (Jagadhari)



Retirement age

The retirement age of teaching staff in the universities is 62 years whereas it is only 60 years for judicial officers. Their retirement age should also be immediately increased to 62 years. Retired judges should be posted for dealing with labour court cases as in the case of consumer cases.


Unsafe buildings

The editorial “Unsafe buildings” (July 4) stresses the urgency of carrying out a structural appraisal of new and old buildings to prevent a further loss of human lives. The collapse of buildings in Solan, Amritsar and Ludhiana have sent grim reminders to the builders, engineers and administrators to take adequate measures to prevent such incidents in future.


School building: One unsafe building located in the Pindi Street of Ludhiana houses a school called Devki Vidyala. It was declared unfit and unsafe about a decade back. The Punjab Education Department derecognised the school. The walls of the 100-year-old, three-storeyed building lean towards the street,endangering traffic.

V. K. KAURA, Panchkula



M.Phil teachers

M.Phil candidates in Himachal Pradesh are recruited as school lecturers without B.Ed, but not in Punjab. We urge the Punjab government to modify its rules and allow the M.Phil candidates to apply in response to the vacant posts of school lecturer.


Medical college fee

Sr Guru Ram Dass Medical College, Amritsar, off and on demands money from the students. For 2000-2001 the fee for a paid MBBS seat was first fixed at Rs 1,10,000 and later increased to Rs 1,26,500. Last year at the time of admissions the students were forced to make donations of Rs 50,000 each.


‘Govt of goons’

A developing democracy is susceptible to be scoffed at by the West as a “government of fools”. Today in Tamil Nadu, revengeful Amma's crusade makes it a “government of goons”. One more definition of democracy.

RAJIV THIND, Jalandhar


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |