Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Precision farming: will it get official backing?

THIS refers to P.P.S. Gill’s "Precision farming". I am delighted to go through the comments on the proposal made by Dr M.S. Bajwa, a retired Director of Research at PAU, Ludhiana.

I as a farmer also firmly believe that instead of the generalised agricultural diversification plans proposed earlier and never adopted by farmers, the site-specific plans based on variabilities of natural resources and their carrying capacity, the state-of-the-art market systems, demand-driven production of quality products, adequate agro-industrial development at the sites of production (rural areas), proper education/training of the farmers and efficient public policies will help the farmers of Punjab in competing in the global market.

The problems of the farmers are going to increase after the removal of quantitative restrictions after December, 2004, under the WTO regime. Let us get started for the long-term planning, time is running out. Populist slogans and short-term incentives may help only in crisis management.

Unfortunately, the people who matter i.e politicians and administrators never give any importance to such documents based on scientific concepts. Since Dr Bajwa does not seem to be a politician-scientist, his proposal will also remain unnoticed on the shelves of some libraries.

AMARJIT SINGH, Dhariwal (Gurdaspur)


Crop diversification: Kudus to P.P.S. Gill for his article "Precision farming”. The article merits a serious thought on intensive farming with crop diversification. Farmers of Punjab who always have set an example for farmers of other parts of the country have suddenly started feeling insecure and miserable.

The measures taken by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology in introducing farmers of some areas like Ropar, Talwara, Malout, Sangrur etc to the cultivation of high-paying medicinal herbs under a buy-back scheme also deserve appreciation.

Such diversification will help the farmers in widening their cropping horizon and make better earnings even under today's adverse climatic conditions. It is also going to check the deterioration of our ecological system. These crops can be cultivated without chemical fertilisers and with minimum water. Our farmers need such crop diversification and efforts should be made to expose them to the changes taking place worldwide.


Justice at last

This refers to the news item about the death sentence for Pakistan's Mastoi men involved in the gang-rape of Mukhtia Mai of Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan. The learned judge, who dared deliver this judgement, has not only done justice to the affected woman but a great service to humanity at large. The people believing in the superiority of man and insignificance of the existence of woman should think ten times before taking the latter for granted.

In view of this landmark judgement, it will be desirable that the executives and judiciary handling the forced Sati cases should take a cue from the Pakistani judgement and announce appropriate award to the people involved in barbarism against women on our side of the border.

K.L. NOATAY, Shimla


Faridabad MC

To supersede the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, simply because the councillors did not toe the line of the ruling party in Haryana has strange connotations. Some political parties call it a "murder of democracy". One can coin several derogatory references attributive to the action. One thing is simple. It is a ridiculous action. Even the British rulers never did so. They appreciated dissent when the Congress or the Muslim League councillors won the people's mandate at the municipal level in the pre-Independence era.

Under the circumstances it will not be bad of the representatives to defend the people's mandate at every appropriate pulpit if they have been wronged. Let the people's mandate triumph!


PUDA sleeping?

PUDA in Amritsar planned 500 plots at Swarn Enclave and called applications and earnest money ranging from Rs 35,000 to Rs 60,000 in April 2001. I am one of the applicant (vide No 1796) and deposited Rs 60,000 with the application. Thus PUDA has collected crores of rupees. According to the brochure issued with the application form, the allotment of plots was to be completed by December, 2001. Now, PUDA has failed to keep its own deadline. So it should complete the allotment process or refund the earnest money with interest to the applicants without delay.

AJAY GUPTA, Amritsar


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