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50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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M A I L B A G

SYL: Haryana deserves its due share

The construction of SYL canal has become a major issue. Most statements made by Punjab’s politicians are biased and devoid of truth. Being a Hydraulics engineer, let me explain the crux the of the problem. About 95 per cent of the total flow carried by the three rivers i.e. the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi is the property of Himachal Pradesh and the Centre for six reasons.

Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are the only beneficiary states. The catchment area which generates the flow in the three rivers predominantly lies in Himachal. The area under the submergence due to the storage reservoirs created by the Bhakra, the Pong, the Ranjit Sagar, the Pandoh and the Chimera dams lies in Himachal.

The 40-km long Sutlej-Beas-Link also passes through Himachal. Funds for the construction of all the dams were released by the Centre. Under the Indus Water Treaty, the riparian rights for the exclusive use of water flowing in the three river were acquired by the Centre. Ironically, Himachal does not get any royalty for the supply of irrigation water and generation of power at the three major dams.

The annual release of irrigation water from the three dams in normal rainfall year is 32 MAF. Of this, 8.5 MAF has been allocated to Rajasthan and 3.85 MAF to Haryana. The balance 19.65 MAF of irrigation water is too adequate to be absorbed by the agriculture land in Punjab and excessive irrigation is causing heavy waterlogging in Faridkot, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Bhatinda districts.

Punjab’s northern districts already have a very high yield in its tubewells. These districts require minimal canal irrigation. The underground water recharge is sustained from the seepage losses in the Bhakra, the Pong and the Ranjit Sagar reservoirs.

A flow of 7.0 MAF was diverted to the Sutlej via the Beas-Sutlej link to run the right power plant at the Bhakra dam. The agricultural land falling under the command of the Sirhind canal could not absorb the additional flow. Therefore, 3.85 MAF water was allocated to Haryana without affecting the irrigation network of Punjab.

Had Punjab remained undivided, the distribution of 3.85 MAF flow of irrigation water to Haryana would have been made without any noise. Therefore, one fails to understand how the farmers of Punjab would be ruined if a flow of just 3.85 MAF is diverted to Haryana through the SYL canal. The people of Punjab should therefore agree to the diversion of legitimate share to Haryana for the irrigation of arid areas in southern districts of the state.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Chief Engineer (retd), (Public Health, Haryana), Panchkula

 

 

Have a heart for them

There is a need to provide separate service windows for small savings at Post Offices for the individual customers and the agents. A notice to this effect should be displayed at the relevant windows. This is necessary because agents need longer period for their transactions even as the general public suffer in the queue.

The Central Government has since issued instructions for a common queue for ladies and gents, but in Patiala General Post Office, the double queue system is still in vogue. I request the authorities to rectify the system immediately.

Moreover, senior citizens have not been provided with a special window, though the government has extended this privilege to them. The staff should be advised to accord priority to senior citizens. A notice to this effect should be displayed on the windows so that the senior citizens are not harassed by the staff or customers.

Dr MANMOHAN SEHGAL, Patiala

No emergency doctor

Recently, there were reports about non-availability of the emergency duty doctor at Panjab University Health Centre. The doctor on emergency duty should be available in the Health Centre itself. Otherwise, the very purpose of emergency is defeated. What is the use of having him if he (his turn comes once in five or six days) is not available in the Health Centre?

Another aspect that needs to be considered by the university authorities is the plight of non-campus residents — employees who have not been given accommodation on the campus. They are the worst sufferers for one reason or the other. They pay heavy rent outside. They are compensated with house rent allowance to some extent. But they don’t get medical aid and are forced to pay exorbitant fee for treatment in the private clinics. The administration should consider either reimbursing them the actual medical expenses or pay a fixed medical allowance on the lines of the Punjab government.

JOGINDER KAUR GILL, Mohali

Waiting for PMT

One fails to know why there is undue delay in conducting the Punjab PMT Test, when in most parts of the country results have already been declared and counselling started. It puts Punjab’s students at great disadvantage since they have to wait for Punjab PMT before they join medical colleges outside the state.

There have been instances in the past when Punjab’s students had to sacrifice the fees already deposited outside and join medical colleges in Punjab after the PMT results were declared.

Dr RAJEEV GUPTA, Ludhiana

Green Wall plan

This has reference to the report “Green Wall around Chandigarh City planned” (July 4). The Chandigarh Administration is planning to acquire all open areas in villages. The Administration will build a green wall around the city. Around 2,200 acres of open lands fall in villages of the Union Territory. The French architect and planner Le Courbusier had planned a green periphery in a specific area around the city.

Greening the City Beautiful is very essential for healthy environment. The green belts are precious lung spaces of Chandigarh. Mohali and Panchkula have already infected Chandigarh. The remaining green patches must be preserved to protect the City Beautiful.

VIRAT AMARNATH GARG, Chandigarh

Ban on polythene bags

The Himachal Pradesh government’s ban on the use of polythene bags, which generate toxic waste, degenerate soil and choke the drains, seems to have become effective. Besides, the government’s resolve to launch an anti-encroachment drive all over the state should be lauded by all right-thinking people, cutting across political affiliations. Of course, it remains to be seen how effective will be its implementation due to vested interests, political or otherwise. Though a lot more needs to be done on the ecological front, the government has made a good beginning.

Dr K.C. Prashar, Dhalpur, Kullu (HP)Top

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