Tuesday, December 4, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Polluted rivers in Punjab

THE discharge of toxic effluents into the rivers of Punjab, particularly in the Sutlej resulting in dead fish, reflects complete negligence by the state government of the environment, land and water resources of the state.

Ironically, it has happened during the “National Land Resources and Conservation Week” The Punjab rivers and rivulets are full of city sewage, carcasses, and plastic, and the ensuing stench from biological oxidation is awful.

To sample this inhuman filth and smell, just pass by the area along the Budha Nallah in Ludhiana going towards Phillaur or go downstream in villages where it flows. During rainy season, these rivers and rivulets overflow, flooding homes in Ludhiana inner city. During the dry season silt chokes these rivers.

There is need to clean the rivers and undertake dredging of the river beds to deepen them to prevent flooding. The polluting factories should be fined heavily. Parts of the rivers can be turned into recreational areas by establishing picnic parks, planting trees and boating facilities, which should also prevent river pollution.

Dr B. S. AHLOOWALIA, Vienna (Austria)


Yes men...

This refers to the write-up “Yes men, silent consenters and passive dissenters” (Nov 26). If personality is allowed to sink to a lower level, society will decay and stagnate. Civilisation may be compared to a garden and personality is the gardener. If the gardener is an active, well-trained craftsman, the garden will grow in its beauty and splendour, but if the gardener is lazy and ignorant, weeds and thistles will choke out the flowering plants. If personality is maintained at a certain standard of excellence, society will advance in civilisation. Byron has rightly interpreted the condition of the present times in these words:

“There is moral of all human tales,

It is but the same rehearsal of the past

First freedom, and then glory-when that fails,

Wealth, vice, corruption — barbarism at last.”



The flyash menace

Mr G.S. Dhillon has rightly explained the reasons for the explosive situation of flyash at Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP), Lehra Mohabat, in the article “The flyash menace”. It is a matter of great concern that the PSEB authorities at GHTP have done nothing to supply ash to nearby brick-kilns, although the thermal has been running at full stream for the last three years. Instead wet ash is being collected in the form of high rising dunes in the already brimful ash dyke with the help of bulldozers, wasting a lot of money and manpower.

With much less expenditure ash can be supplied to brick-kilns. Inaction on the part of the Punjab Pollution Control Board in spite of provisions in the law is also not understandable.

The non-coming up of a cement plant is also seen with suspicion. Further, the drain to dispose of the ash slurry water is yet to be completed and lot of water is forced to seepage in the ground. The rising ash dunes and seeping water will pose a great threat to the near-by area and traffic on the highway during summer storms and the rainy season. All this is happening in the constituency of the power minister. Will the authorities wake up?

GURTEJ SINGH, Lehra Mohabat


Cows’ death

The death of 49 cows at the gaushala run by the Sri Devi Talab Mandir Committee at Bulandpur, Jalandhar, is too astounding for words and loudly speaks of an egregious lapse of management. (Nov 26, 27). The statements of the in-charge of the gaushala and the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, are based on preliminary inquiries by a team of doctors and the reports of the tests. This sounds neither convincing nor conclusive as the instant death of 49 cows can hardly be caused by fungal infection.

Assistance of experts from Punjab Agricultural University and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute should have been taken to arrive at the conclusive cause of the deaths. The administration of poison with an ulterior motive by persons infamous for bovine scandals, and occurrence of some disease which can cause heavy mortality should be ruled out by performing various tests by experts of these reputed institutions.

There are 55 more ill animals in the gaushala which can allow thorough investigation. Expert veterinary treatment is still needed as a few animals are reported to be in a serious condition. The law enforcing agency should not take the things lightly, try to find out the facts and do not yield to any politicking.

The management should thoroughly review the feeding and heeding arrangements at this gaushala and take appropriate measures to ensure, safety of the animals. The other gaushalas across the country should guard against the lapses that led to the large-scale mortality at this gaushala.


PMET case

I wish to draw public attention to the 70-page high court judgement about the PMET (Nov-29). In the prospectus, the minimum percentage of marks in the PMET was 40 in case of the reserved category, but after the declaration of the result, a notification was issued on August 21 to abolish the minimum percentage condition. It was challenged in the court and the notification has been quashed after three months’ proceedings.

The Tribune had carried an editorial “For whose benefit”. A Secretary of the Punjab government had criticised the editorial in a letter and tried to defend the notification.

This lapse of three months has spoiled the career of many students. Now the students will join the course in between the session and will not be eligible to appear with the regular batch which means a wastage of six months.

Who is responsible for it? Is there any punishment for the authorities concerned? In the name of wooing voters, how long will our political masters keep on playing with the lives of common people?

Dr P. S. JASSAL, Ludhiana

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