Crop insurance a must for farmers

This has reference to the editorial “Rain struck now” (Oct.13). As a soldier-turned-farmer, I fully endorse your recommendation: “Farmers need crop insurance”.

It is rather ironic to note that the option of “crop insurance” has not been tried in Punjab and Haryana to take care of the farmers’ recurrent loss due to inclement weather, floods and droughts. Why is it so?

The answer has been provided in your editorial under reference: “The relief-grab exercise, frequently repeated, so well suits the vested interests that no alternative is thought out or encouraged.” As brought out, a large chunk of the announced relief is either swallowed by sharks in the system or else used (misused) by the ruling parties in these states to build their own vote-banks.

Although I stand by your recommendation that crop insurance remains a workable solution with the government paying a part of the premium, there is the last-minute apprehension flowing from a news item: “Insurance companies mum on relief to farmers” (Oct 14).




According to this news item, the farmers in Haryana who have insured their kharif crops are at a loss to know as to how the losses suffered by them in the recent rains will be compensated for. The Union Agriculture Commissioner should arrange to issue prompt necessary clarifications in this regard.

ONKAR CHOPRA, Abohar (Punjab)

Loudspeaker menace

We, the residents of Bajwa Colony, would like it bring to the notice of Patiala’s Deputy Commissioner that in spite of a ban on the use of loudspeakers in the early hours, in DCW Colony Gurdwara, loudspeaker is being used with impunity from 4 am to 7 pm daily. On Wednesdays, it starts blaring at 2 am. The volume of the speaker is very high.

The plight of the residents in the adjacent colony/area can be well imagined. Though this problem has been brought to the notice of the authorities, no action has been taken to stop this practice. The residents are the ultimate sufferers. The Deputy Commissioner should immediately instruct the Gurdwara management to shift the speakers inside and keep the decibel level to a point adequate for those within the vicinity of the gurdwara.


Keep Forest Resort for eco-tourism

This has reference to the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to demolish the Forest Hill Resort, near Chandigarh (Oct 13).

I am of the view that public interest will be served better if the building complex is handed over as such to the Forest Department instead of razing it to the ground. The department can utilise the asset for earning revenue through eco-tourism instead of incurring more expenditure on demolition.

So far as the compensatory afforestation is concerned, it can be raised elsewhere. For that matter, the people responsible for the illegal construction by encroaching upon the forest land should be having some kind of land of their own. Their land should be confiscated and utilised for tree planting.

K.L. NOATAY, Shimla

Spare busy roads

Apropos of the news-item “Why not ban all yatras?” (Oct 4), we were shocked to learn that due to a yatra, an ambulance carrying a serious patient from Moga was not allowed to go in spite of repeated requests to policemen to let them go. Our saints and gurus taught us to respect human values, to see within and be kind to every living being in the world. But these days, all religious bodies consider appeasing the God by taking out processions, contrary to the saints’ teachings.

There should be a national consensus on not allowing such processions on busy routes to save the general public from undue harassment. All saints preach to be introvert and to find God inside and not on the roads.


Unfair decision

The Indian Oil Corporation, Chandigarh, had invited applications for distributorship of LPG at different locations in Punjab on December 31, 2003. On October 1, 2004, the company has peremptorily cancelled 83 locations without citing any reason. This is unfair and most unfortunate. The decision should be reviewed.

NARINDER KUMAR GUPTA, Rampur Phul (Bathinda)

Harvesting rain water

Scarcity of water is haunting everyone. This is more acute in rural India than in urban areas. In rural areas, the problem remained unchanged despite tall claims made by the government. In North India, this problem can be tacked very easily. Scarcity of water has led to the migration of rich people to cities. In rural areas, the construction of 10 cubic-meter tanks has not helped; the problem persists.

Just as the provision of water tank is mandatory for every new construction, the village panchayats should be directed to notify that every new construction should have the provision of rainwater harvesting tanks. The water stored in the tank can be used for gardening and sanitation.

P.C. MISHRA, Rora, Palampur

Why amend Cr PC?

Apropos of the news-item “Accused should get copy of FIR: experts” (Oct 2), there is no need to amend the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) or file a public interest litigation just to provide a copy of the first information report (FIR) to the accused for three reasons: since it can be inspected in the court; once an FIR is filed the accused will come to know the grounds of detention; the accused may not do anything to vitiate, dilute and frustrate the contents of FIR before he is produced before the nearest magistrate within the prescribed time.

It is also well within the law to provide FIR copy to the complainant because he/she already knows its contents and his/her written complaint is verbatim an FIR. Hence, there is no violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.

Instead, the CrPC needs to be amended for two things. First, to set up a monetary fund so that the complainant may get immediate financial relief. And second, the public prosecutor/ police should cooperate with the complainant and his lawyers to his benefit, as was suggested by a committee formed by the Union Government to give suggestions for amending the provisions of CrPC.

ASHOK GOEL, Kotkapura


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