Friday, August 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Anti-farmer’ policies flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
Dubbing the drought in this part of the country as a man-made calamity due to the shortsightedness of the successive regimes, activists of the Kirti Kisan Union today held a rally to highlight the anti-farmer policies being pursued by the government.

The rally was also attended by members of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Sabha and the Kheti Bari Vikas Front. The speakers demanded adequate compensation for the affected farmers.

The compensation amount for the affected crop should be fixed at Rs 15, 000 per acre while that of the unsown fields should be not less than Rs 12,000, on the pattern followed for land in the border areas.

The farmers who have made all out efforts to nurture the crop by sinking additional tubewells and installed submersible pumps should be given Rs 5, 000 per acre.

The gathering also felt that the tax on goods used in the agricultural sector should be withdrawn forthwith besides lowering the rates of diesel. The government should also make arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supply of canal water in this hour of need.

They also highlighted the plight of labourers in the agricultural sector who were debt ridden and were not more than bonded labourers. The protesters also appealed to other like minded outfits to come together to work in this context.

Meanwhile, another rally would he held in Ludhiana on September 2.


Alternative crop option for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
Menthol could be an attractive alternative crop for farmers to break out of the wheat-rice rotation, said Dr R. K. Rampal, Director, Agriculture, while visiting the JDM Agricultural Development and Research Farms at Ladowali, near here.

The Director, examining the new variety of menthol,‘saksham’, which promises a higher yield than those being grown in the region, was impressed when Mr Manjit Singh, Managing Director of the farm, said that the new variety gave 20 per cent more yield than the existing variety, ‘koshi’.

The District Agriculture Officer, Dr R S Pandher, besides Dr B. S. Sohal, Dr G. S. Gill, Dr P. S. Aulakh, Dr Daler Singh, Dr R. S. Aulakh, Dr Baldev Singh and Dr Gurdev Singh were also present.

Dr Pandher also informed the Director about the steps being initiated by the drought management cell for the assistance of affected farmers.


Scientists’ advice to farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
In view of the possibility of leaf-folder on the standing paddy crop, the PAU scientists have informed the farmers that the larvae of this insect occurs in all rice-growing areas of the state. The larvae fold the leaves, eat out the green tissue and produce white streaks.

The damage is highest during August-October. If the attack is observed, the farmers have been advised to spray the crop with 250 ml of Folithion/Sumithion/ Accothion, 50 EC (Fenitrothion) or 150ml Lebaycid 1000 EC (Fenthion) or one litre of Coroban/Durmet 20EC (Chloropyriphos) or 560ml of Nuvacron/Monocil 36 SL (Monocrotophos) or 800 ml Ekalux 20 AF (quinalphos) in 100 litres of water per acre.

Meanwhile, partly cloudy to cloudy weather with isolated showers/ light rainfall is likely to prevail over Punjab for the next two days. the daily maximum and minimum temperature are expected to range between 34-38°C and 24-28°C, respectively. The daily loss of water through evaporation is expected to remain between 5-7mm for most of the days of this week. The mean relative humidity is likely to remain around 75 per cent during this week.


Training course on rice-wheat system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
The increase in the concentration of nitrates in the groundwater by 10 times from the previous 0. 5 to 5 PPM is a dangerous signal which will have an adverse health effect on humans and animals, says Dr J S Kolar, Director, Extension Education, PAU.

He was speaking after inaugurating the three-week training course on the socio-economic implications of the rice-wheat system in the Indo Gangetic Plains, organised by the Department of Soils and the Department of Economics and Sociology.

Dr Kolar added that this concentration was due to the excessive use of nitrates in fertilisers and other chemicals, particularly in the wheat-rice rotation areas. He expressed concern on the development of nutrient deficiency in animals and human beings as a result of the over exploitation of these nutrients in the soil and resulting deficiency in the plant products.

Talking about social implications Dr Kolar cautioned about the undesirable social customs and traditions which had percolated due to inward flow of migrants from other states to Punjab and outward flow of Punjabis to the foreign countries. He urged the Punjabis to adopt good points from other cultures rather than imitating their negative traditions blindly.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and the delegates, Dr V.K. Nayyar, Head, Department of Soils said that the scientists from Bihar , UP , Delhi and Punjab were participating in the training course. Dr Joginder Singh, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU disclosed that during the three-week training course, the participants would be apprised of the problems like pest-insurgence, depletion of groundwater, deterioration of soil health, loss of work culture among Punjabis, drug addiction and their resulting implications on social and economic life of the people.


‘Agriculture passing through serious crisis’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
To finalise the technologies for recommendation to the farmers during the coming rabi season, a two-day agricultural officers’ workshop started on the PAU campus here today.

Inaugurating the workshop, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice- Chancellor, PAU, said agriculture was passing through a serious crisis due to depletion of underground water, deterioration of soil health and pollution of environment. The current drought has further added to the miseries of farmers. During the months of June-July this year, rainfall was only 8 per cent of the last year’s rainfall. As a result of the depletion of underground water from upper layers, the water has to be drawn from the deeper layers.

Due to this, 40 to 50 per cent of about 10 lakh centrifugal pumps in Punjab had become dysfunctional and the remaining were running at 30-35 per cent efficiency. These would have to be replaced with submersible pumps involving huge investment and increased requirement of power supply. The water from deeper layers was likely to cause the problem of soil salinity.

Dr Aulakh said in order to divert 10 lakh hectare area from paddy, emphasis should be laid on other enterprises like fisheries, poultry and dairy also in addition to the alternative crops like pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits. He said the yield of fishery in Punjab is 5 ton per hectare which is 2.5 times more than the national average. If proper facilities for processing, canning and marketing are provided, there was a great scope for bringing more area under fisheries. This would also help in recycling the water by first storing in the fish pond and then using it for the crops, thus getting double benefit from the same water, he added.

Dr R.K. Rampal, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, in his presidential remarks stressed the need for strengthening the seed production programme particularly of pulses, oilseeds and the winter maize. He also urged the scientists to evolve disease and infact pest-resistant varieties so that the use of pesticides could be brought down. He said in order to meet the situation created by the drought, a Special Crop Management Cell has been created in the Directorate of Agriculture.

Dr Rampal further said as a result of the personal interest shown by the Agriculture Minister, power supply to the agricultural sector for 8-10 hours daily was ensured. He also said that the Central Government has been approached to provide a grant of Rs 2350 crore to compensate the loss caused by the drought. For the Rabi season 2002-2003, target has been fixed to produce 147 lakh tonnes of wheat, 1.53 tonnes of barley, 54,000 tonnes of pulses and 88,000 tonnes of oilseed, he said.

Dr Govinder Singh Nanda, Director of Research, PAU, while presenting the research highlights for rabi crops, said sunflower varieties PSFH-11 and SH-88, chief pea variety PBG-5, have been released for cultivation during the next rabi season.

Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director Extension Education, PAU, suggested the large-scale adoption of zero tillage technology in order to decrease the cost of production by Rs 600-800 per acre. He said of the farmers should be trained to produce their own seed as government seed agencies like the PAU, Punseed and National Seeds Corporation, would not be able to meet the whole requirements of the state. Moreover, the farmer seed producers should be adopted by these agencies for seed multiplication.

He also suggested that small farmers should be encouraged to get their farm operations done through custom hiring, instead of making investment on machinery which remains under-utilised.

The workshop is being attended by about 400 field officers of the Department of Agriculture, Punjab, and PAU scientists who will finalise the rabi production technologies through deliberations. On the basis of these technologies, a book on packages of practices in English and Punjabi, would be published for the farmers and would be available for sale during the Kisan Melas to be organised by the university in September at Rauni (Patiala) on September 4, at Ballowal Saunkhri on September 10, at main campus Ludhiana on September 19- 20, at Bhatinda on Sept. 24 and at Gurdaspur on September 27.


For this poet, love is supreme
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 22
Let me sink completely,

in flowing lake of romance.

I wanna die in waves,

give me a golden chance.

In ocean of my brain,

some erotic whales ruffle

Your off-midriff corset,

all my senses shuffle.

they writhe for a glance

Gurdeep Pandher Gurdeep Pandher penned 52 love poems in his book titled ‘Diving into Heart’. Gurdeep, a young man of 25, has experienced love and pangs of separation on account of being abandoned. His poems show yearning for lost love. Gurdeep says: “From my school days , I felt the urge to write. But then I wrote on social themes, but when I grew up, I felt love was the most overpowering of all emotions. Though the girl whom I loved is lost to me, still I feel love is such a powerful emotion that it has kept me going.” Gurdeep sent his manuscript of poems to first Books Library, an American publishing house. His books are being sold on Gurdeep is trying to negotiate publication of his book with an Indian publisher, so that his fellow men read it. Till now his readers can only buy his book using a credit card.

He has dedicated this book to Kushwant Singh and Shobha De to show his admiration for their talent and versatility. He wishes that in future his works would also be as well read as the writers that he admires. After his graduation from Government College for Men, he did his postgraduation in English from Panjab University. He was the founder president of Young Writers Association which offered a platform to the up and coming young writers to talk of their poetry and other literary works. The association would organise ‘mushairas’ poetic recitations in Hindi and English.

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