Thursday, December 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Nationalisation of rivers: nature will retaliate

These days there is a renewed talk of nationalising our rivers by undoing the riparian laws. The riparian laws, which are practised the world over and are embedded in the Indian Constitution, contain the wisdom of ages and have stood the test of time. A problem only rises when the government tries to bypass them. The motive behind this proposed nationalisation of rivers is essentially political. The integrity of the Centre being what it is, waters would be distributed on extraneous considerations, and the riparian states will be the victims.

When the waters of a river are taken out of its basin, it causes a serious damage to the ecology, which ultimately proves ruinous for the region. Violation of the riparian principles is an outrage against nature, and nature never fails to retaliate.

The Rajasthan canal is an illustration. It takes away some 8 m.a.f. of waters from Punjab to Rajasthan. It has done very great harm to Punjab but very little good to Rajasthan. Vast areas of Punjab as well as Rajasthan have been waterlogged. Only 25 per cent of the water released at the head reaches the fields; the rest of the precious commodity is lost in seepage and evaporation. And whatever reaches there is wasted in the sandy soil, which is unfit for producing crops.

The canal was built with undue haste, against the warning of the US Bureau of Reclamation, which the Indian government had consulted. Those who conceived and executed this project have really done a crime to a part of the nation, the disastrous effects of which will become more and more evident as time passes. The proposed nationalisation of rivers will pave the way for the misadventures.

H.J. SINGH, Chandigarh


Amritsar in neglect

This refers to letter “Amritsar dirtiest place”. Amritsar used to be one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities of India. It was a well-planned city with gardens, orchards and drains all around the walled city and proper places for the dumping of garbage.

In the last one year the city has really become a dirty place fit for pigs to freely roam about. The Company Bagh, which is also called Ram Bagh, has 47 gardeners, but it has become a garbage dump and there is not a flower in the garden. Once upon a time Amritsar was proud of this beautiful garden.

The authorities meant for providing civic amenities and maintenance of law and order are hardly paying any attention towards the needs of the citizens. Roadsides, lands, parks are being encroached upon recklessly and municipal bye-laws exist only on paper.

Land use is being changed without receiving the requisite fee fixed by the government. It seems the government has ceased to work in Amritsar city. The C.M, who is known for his love for aesthetics, cleanliness, beauty and order, must personally monitor developmental activities of Amritsar city in order to stem the rot.

Er C.S. CHOPRA, Amritsar

Misuse of funds

In the last few years the Centre and the Punjab Government have sanctioned powerloom, sanitation and SGSY special handloom projects worth crores of rupees for the uplift of the rural poor in Bathinda district. The implementing agency, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Bathinda, has started the projects at the focal points in villages like Baluwana, Deon, Chuk Feteh Singh Wala, Dadhey, Mehraj, Singoo, Pakka Kalan, Jodhpur Pakkahar, Malluka, and Lehra Mohabbat.

The material supplied at these centres was substandard and purchased at a very high rate from certain firms by charging commissions. Loans were given to poor villagers by banks. Now the members of an official nexus have closed almost all the centres. The poor villagers feel cheated and are unable to repay the bank loans. Neither the ADC (D) nor the DC, Bathinda, has a time to see the matter thoroughly.


RCC trenches

The re-excavation work for telephone lines and water supply lines in cities and towns can be avoided and crores of rupees saved if permanent R.C.C. trenches of size (1'-6"x2'-0") are constructed keeping in view the future growth plans.

Er. G.S. ARWAL, Nangal


This was found written on the back of a three-wheeler:

"Jaati biwi ko toko mat

Aati maya ko roko mat"

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

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