Monday, September 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Non-issue becomes an issue: misconceptions about Ravi water

AFTER reading Mr S.P. Malhotra's letter (Sept. 9), I think that inaccuracies along with the correct position need to be brought out. The factual position is that no waters were purchased by the Government of India. As per the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 executed between India and Pakistan under the aegis of the World Bank, India became exclusively entitled to the waters of the three eastern rivers of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi. Pakistan was allocated waters of the three western rivers of Chenab, Jhelum and Sind (of course allowing the existing use of these waters by Jammu and Kashmir in India). The Treaty became effective in 1970. Pakistan, which was using some water from canals of the Ravi river was allowed a period of 10 years to construct replacement works for utilisation of water from the western rivers. Under the Treaty, India paid Rs 100 crore to Pakistan (in foreign exchange) for the construction of replacement works.

The Indus Water Treaty is a treaty between two sovereign countries — India and Pakistan — and it, in no way, takes away the riparian rights of their constituent states. It is a travesty of truth to say that the rights to any waters were purchased by the Government of India. Waters of a river are not purchased like a commodity. A river is a free bounty of nature, even according to the international law. The existing lower riparian rights are, however, protected.

As regards the “Ravi-Beas surplus waters”, it is the quantum of water over and above the pre-partition utilisation. In a mean year, it has been assessed to be 15.85 MAF (million acre feet), utilisation being 3.13 MAF. There is nothing such as purchased water and it would be totally erroneous to name “surplus waters” as purchased waters.

Punjab’s riparian rights are not, in any manner, extinguished or curtailed by the Indus Water Treaty.

G.R. KALRA, Chief Engineer (retd), Punjab, Chandigarh


Share damage first: I will request Mr Malhotra, the learned former Chief Engineer, to commit the Haryana Government to share the damage being done in Punjab by the repeated floods in the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers in the 60:40 ratio as was being done prior to the reorganisation before making any claim on the waters of these rivers.

S.S. GILL, Ludhiana

PMET experience

I appeared for the Punjab MET held on July 21. I got 468 marks out of 800, that is 58 per cent The PMET prospectus clearly mentioned that those securing 50 per cent and above will be eligible for admission to the MBBS and BDS courses. However, after a few days, a schedule for counselling appeared in The Tribune, which showed that they had changed the eligibility criteria for the BAMS/ BHMS without thinking about the students' career.

When I reported at Faridkot for counselling, they did not even bother to register myself in the waiting list for the BDS. I was made ineligible for the BAMS just because in the admission form I had filled BDS as a preferred course. They made a mockery of the whole system. It is taken as understood that if a person does not get admission in the course of his/her choice, he/she must be considered for admission to the subsequent course.

It was a real harassing experience visiting Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. No committee member came to our rescue. I requested them to register my name in the waiting list for the BDS, but all in vain.

MANU KAUSHAL, Chandigarh

Why new MCs?

THE Chautala government has decided to constitute municipal corporations in certain towns of the state. Recently, the state government amended the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, by reducing the population of a town required for constituting a municipal corporation from five lakh to three lakh, thus paving the way to create new municipal corporations in certain towns.

The state has only one Municipal Corporation in Faridabad, which was constituted way back in 1994. The rest of the towns have municipal committees or councils depending upon their population. Ironically, on the one hand the state government had abolished 29 municipal committees, and on the other the government has now decided to upgrade the municipal bodies of certain towns. It is difficult to understand the contrary stands of the state government.

Whatever may be the status of a urban local body, the main thrust of the government should be on creating more resources for them. After the abolition of octroi, the situation of municipalities has worsened. The state government should first initiate efforts to make the municipal bodies self-reliant. Instead of eyeing on grants extended by the government, the municipal bodies should be able to generate resources on their own and discharge their duties as enshrined in 12th Schedule of the Constitution. Thus the issue of creating new municipal corporations should be kept in abeyance at least for the time being.

HEMANT KUMAR, Ambala city



Reprehensible attack

The terrorist attack on Akshardham in Gandhinagar is reprehensible. Killing of 30 innocent devotees in the temple complex only brings revulsion about those who have stooped to such cowardice. Apparently, large -cale participation in the democratic process in Kashmir even under the shadow of their guns has rattled our neighbour which is yet to experiment with its latest version of shackled democracy.

Pakistan has been using terrorism as a low-cost, low-risk instrument of war so far. However, the sacrifice of the innocent devotees in the temple massacre may prove to be the beginning of the end of cross-border terrorism. The Pakistan-spawned terrorism seems to have spiraled out of control and it has spilled over in their own land. They would have to dismantle their terror enterprises for limiting self damages. There is no sure way to safeguard against suicidal attacks, except to step up vigilance and letting those who pursue terrorism as state policy pay heavily for their support.

Air Cmde RAGHUBIR SINGH (retd), Pune

Restraint needed: The terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. At the same time, our politicians need to observe restraint. This is the crucial need of the hour. The manner in which Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been conducting himself in the last few months is deplorable. Politicians of his ilk and those belonging to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS etc., are fomenting communalism through their speeches and actions.

Unfortunately, politicians are playing with the religious sentiments of the people. Minorities are threatened with dire consequences and the state policy is being used to spread fear among them. Leaders like RSS chief K.Sudarshan are trying to saffronise the religions of secular India. Mr Modi the BJP are trying to gain political mileage over Gujarat developments instead of rehabilitating the victims of the post-Godhra violence. Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee seems unable to check Mr Modi. He is a rubber stamp Prime Minister and advising Mr Modi to observe Raj Dharam. He is also keeping silent on Mr Modi’s Gaurav Yatra.


Hidden diplomacy: The attack on Indian Parliament, Kaluchak and the latest on Akshardham’s Swaminarayan temple in Gujarat indicate Pakistan really needs war to displace Osama bin Laden. Once Osama is caught, Pakistan will lose American favouritism and military help. If Pakistan loses American support now, she can help Osama to carry out another spectacular terrorist attack.

DALJEET, Barnala

Qisaas, not kasak: In the reports “Army deployed in Gujarat” and “Tehrik-e-kasak leaflets found from slain ultras” (September 26), the name of the outfit, whose members attacked the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, has been mentioned as “Tehrik-e-Kasak”. There is no word called “Kasak”. The actual term is “Qisaas”, which, in Arabic, means “capital punishment”, “like retaliation for physical injury”. “Qusaas lena” implies “to punish with like retaliation”, “kill for murder” and “to award capital punishment”. The expression “Taihreek-e-Qisaas”, therefore, connotes an organisation to exact vengeance with like retaliation.


Sad pointer: India is in a thick of terrorist attacks. The one on the Akshardham temple in Gujarat which killed 30 persons and left 100 injured is a sad pointer to the menace of terrorism. How can this evil be wiped out is a question which is constantly asked after every outrageous attack?

Nationalism surges like anything. But this is parachorial-nationalism. We simply shed crocodile tears on the death of innocent people. Nowadays, we seem to be more interested in cricket. Most of us glued to TV sets watching India smashing South Africa to enter semi-finals of ICC Trophy. When India won the match, we bursted crackers and distributed sweets to celebrate India’s victory. What an irony of fate! Militants smashed our countrymen. We were not worried about them. We simply expressed our resentment over this gory incident, and then riveted our eyes to TV to watch cricket! There is, therefore, an urgent need to come out of cricket mania to save the country from external aggression.

Prof RAJAN KAPOOR, Nakodar

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