Dams at Wangtu, Khab can tackle Parchu problem

Apropos of the report on the Parchu lake (Aug 15), the dam is not impervious like the Pong Dam at Talwara. It must have some porosity and permeability. Therefore, the water must seep through it. But why this didn't happen is surprising.

Once seepage starts and attains critical gradient at the toe, loose material comes out resulting in the failure of the dam structure. However, if the lake's water level rises by 10 ft, a velocity of 16 ft a second would be generated to cause fast erosion of the muck. The moment the muck is removed by 27 ft (in two hours), the discharge over the dam would be 2 lakh cusecs and the lake's capacity would be reduced by 50 per cent.

Water will reach the Nathpa Dam in three hours. The lake would be emptied in another four hours. The maximum discharge over the dam crest would reach 2.5 lakh cusecs. Thus, flash floods would be a disaster.




The Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam, while executing the Nathpa-Zhakri project, committed a mistake. The height of the diversion dam was kept at 200 ft as greater height would have drowned the tailend of the 105-MW Sanjay Vidyut Priyojna (SVP). The dam should have been constructed upstream of the SVP with its height at 500 ft like the Kol Dam to moderate the flash floods and entrap the coarse silt particles. The NHPC is also making the same mistake in the Chimera III project where the diversion dam height would be only 39 m.

Even if the dam does not burst, the Parchu lake will remain full and inflows during the next rainfall will cause problems. Therefore, the lake must be emptied either by systematic blasting of the dam or by syphoning off water. Alternatively, to prevent dam burst, build a permeable dam by blasting the rocks and strengthen it with wire near Khab village. This dam will bear the brunt of the surging wave and moderate the flow. A permanent solution would be new dams at Wangtu and Khab.

RAM NIWASH MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd), Public Health, Haryana, Panchkula

Renaming: Here & there

In the good old days, Ganga Ram opened a hospital at Lahore which later came to be known as Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Gen Yahya Khan didn't rename it after a Pakistan dignitary. Pakistan set up Gujral Library in Jhelum after former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral. It has now declared Gah in Chakwal district of Pakistan as a model village after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Gah primary school will be renamed after Dr Singh.

In India, old names are changed in no time - Lady Irwin Hospital, Victoria Terminus station in Mumbai, Connaught Place in New Delhi and so on. In Pakistan, King Edward Medical College & Hospital of the pre-independence era is still known by that name. Pakistanis respect the good deeds of individuals irrespective of their nationality. Why don't we, Indians?

Let us re-examine ourselves without being influenced by Gen Pervez Musharraf's jingoistic outbursts. Clearly, the people of Pakistan want peace between the two countries. The people-to-people contacts, cultural exchange visits should grow to promote peace and understanding between India and Pakistan.

Col S.K. LAMBA (retd), Panchkula

Question of ethics

Should a member or chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) jointly hold this post and membership of the Rajya Sabha. It is a question more of ethics than legal. The duties assigned to the NCM are of paramount importance. Apart from evaluating progress in the development of minorities, it should look into complaints regarding deprivation of rights of the minorities by the state, individual or organisation.

Article 102 (i) (a) provides that a person should be disqualified from being a member of either house of Parliament, if he holds any office of profit, unless Parliament declares by a law not to disqualify its holder. Having superseded the three Acts of 1950, 1951 and 1953, Parliament passed the Prevention of Disqualification Act, 1959, declaring more elaborately certain offices of profit not to disqualify the holder from being a member of Parliament. Thus, members or Chairmen of NCM, NHRC etc., are not disqualified.

The issue in question is whether any person elected to the Rajya Sabha can do justice to the post of NCM Chairman when confronted with complaints against his promoter, may be an individual, political party or organisation? More so in situations where reports or recommendations of the NCM are to be placed before Parliament and discussed?

J.S. TOOR, Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

Meitis in Manipur

Apropos of the report "Al-Qaeda connection spells danger in North-East (July 12), the Nagas and Kukis are tribes but the Meitis are not. Of course, they are a dominant category in the community.


Preserve tapestries

The tapestries designed by Le Corbusier are priceless pieces of art and should be preserved. We should examine whether the chambers of the High Court judges are proper places for keeping these pieces of great artistic excellence.

John Ruskin, noted author, writes in his book "The seven lamps of architecture", that such paintings should not be hung in the railway stations as passengers are in a hurry to reach their destinations and have no time for appreciating them. This example can be cited in the case of Corbusier's tapestries too. It will be appropriate if these pieces of art are kept in museums, art galleries, colleges of arts, architecture, engineering and so on.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh

Deplorable practice

In Punjab, urban children are catching up with their rural contemporaries in the alcohol consumption due to peer pressure and irresponsible parenting. Most of the restaurants these days are glorified ahatas and the law is a mute spectator. I call for stringent rules against liquor consumption by minors.



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