Make SYL canal a reservoir

Apropos of the news 'Badal ridicules Army suggestion' (June 15), although I have nothing to do with the reported Army proposal, I am giving below a broad suggestion of diverting, collecting and storing of excess flood/rainwater during monsoons and distributing the same during the post-monsoon period through means other than conventional dams.

There is no need to construct any dam for this purpose as we have a large reservoir in the form of highly disputed and politicised SYL canal. This canal can be modified to serve the dual purpose of carrying the surplus river water (if and when decided) and collecting/storing/preserving excess flow/rain water available during monsoons. For the latter role the canal may be provided with spill-over gates at suitable intervals along entire length of the canal and a main dam at the end of the canal.

The stored water in the SYL canal-cum-reservoir would also recharge the subsoil water by seepage into the adjoining areas all along the canal where the water table is receding due to extensive use of tubewells.

Brig W.S. CHAUDHARY (retd), Panchkula




Noise pollution

Loud noise coming from speakers, music systems etc. that have been set up in religious and social centres and marriage palaces is a major contributor to noise pollution. Students are the worst sufferers. Elderly and sick people cannot rest and lose their peace of mind.

All those who have gone to sleep after long days work are also disturbed.

Unnecessary use of vehicle horns, playing loud music and sound produced by poorly- maintained engines also cause noise pollution as does the noise produced by industrial machines.

The authorities concerned must take necessary steps to check noise pollution. The ban on playing of loud speakers and music systems etc should be enforced strictly, especially during the night.

KOMAL DEOL, Ludhiana

Hopeless Budget

The annual budget presented in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on June 21 is hopeless and disappointing. Three is neither a resource mobilisation plan for development nor relief for any section. It has left every section of the society high and dry.

Regrettably, during its 28-month rule and after having presented three budgets, the Congress government in Punjab has failed to fulfil even a single promise held out to pensioners in the election manifesto on the eve of Punjab Assembly elections in February, 2002. The promises made then included a raise in medical allowance and house rent allowance for pensioners.


Human failure

The recent accident on Konkan Railways is a case of human failure. Defects that can cause accidents rarely appear overnight and are generally cumulative- an effect of long neglect at all levels, more so at lower levels.

Since little track maintenance work can be undertaken during extreme weather conditions, the track staff i.e. gangmen, linesmen, mates, etc., are deployed for track safety works. All the track staff who patrols the track are equipped with safety equipment to meet emergencies.

It was raining for over 12 hours in the area where the accident took place. Under such circumstances, especially when the area is mountainous, it is mandatory to have round- the-clock patrolling for safety. This the Railways failed in ensuring.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar

Feel Good

Apropos of your editorial "Feel Good" (June 15) and news item "Timely help saved her life" (June 14), the selfless service of Mr Madan Lal Kashyap, a supervisor of Shatabdi Express, and other doctors travelling in the train who came to rescue a cardiac patient during the journey is something that other railway and government employees should emulate.

In an earlier article, Mr Khushwant Singh had lauded Mr Kashyap's services. Your conclusion that four good Samaritans do not make a system change is correct to the extent that such persons are less at present. Let us be optimistic and strive to be useful to our society no matter where we are placed.

Felicitating such gentlemen can go a long way in multiplying the number of government employees who act in such a positive manner.


Quality power needed

The power sector is critical for the economics and social development. The power sector was given high priority in the development of India. Approximately 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the budget was invested in the power sector. However, at the same time, the state governments have misused the sector by announcing politically preferred policies.

This includes provision of free power supply to the agriculture sector. However, the experience of various states in this regard shows that this free power is just a political stunt. Both electricity consumers as well as the power utility have paid high cost of this subsidy. At the supply side, it affected the financial viability of the utility companies while the consumers suffered from the poor and inadequate supply of the service. So the provision of open ended subsidy must come to an end to ensure better quality of power.


Anti-dowry laws

The rampant misuse of two anti-dowry provisions laid down in Section 498-A & 406 of the IPC is much more dangerous than that of POTA which is worrying politicians. It should be revised and made compoundable and bailable, as suggested by Justice J. D. Kapoor of the Delhi High Court.

S.P. SINGH, Hoshiarpur


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