Augmenting water resources

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has rightly accorded priority to augmentation of water resources for equitable distribution in all the districts. The people of Mahendergarh district are particularly hit with water famine for many years.

The lift canals in Nangal Chaudhry and Satnali blocks have never run. The water table has gone down by 400 ft below ground level. The yield of tube wells is not more than 2,000 gallons per hour. Urgent action is needed to tackle recurrent drought in such blocks.

Augmentation of water resources is difficult, but not impossible. Regrettably, successive governments in Haryana never bothered about developing water resources of the Yamuna Basin. Though its annual flow is 8 MAF, its utilisation is hardly 2.5 MAF and the rest flows to the sea unutilised. It is time UP, Haryana and Delhi built Bhakra-like dams across the Yamuna (Lakhovar) and its two tributaries, the Keshao and the Giri rivers. These projects would cost Rs 13, 000 crore to generate 2000 MW of hydro power additionally.




Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh are also keen on starting these projects because both states would get 22 per cent free power as royalty. The other alternative for augmenting irrigation water lies in the transfer of 2 MAF water of the Ganges to the Yamuna and early completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal.

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

Bill on communal harmony

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has recently said that a Bill on communal harmony would be tabled in Parliament to tackle rioters. The Indian Penal Code contains several sections aimed at maintaining communal harmony and preventing criminal violence. However, such violence has taken place over the decades because the law enforcing agencies have themselves been communal.

Every report on a communal riot has found the police guilty of dereliction of duty. Since exemplary punishment has not been awarded on any occasion, the police forces have remained communal. Mr Patil may have a dozen fine laws passed. But can he ensure that they are enforced in letter and spirit?


Good governance

The editorial “Negative vote” (Feb 28) rightly observes that “erecting statues of Devi Lal” was no substitute for good government. It rightly advised the Congress “to provide a better government as promised to the electorate”.

Mr Om Parkash Chautala must mend his ways and re-organise the INLD to make it people-oriented. Mrs Sonia Gandhi must direct Mr Bhajan Lal and others to take the Congress to the roots and in the streets. At present, it is just cut off from the people who just voted for it negatively to oust Mr Chautala from power. If the Congress does not ensure clean and corruption-free governance, it will be ousted next time. The BJP has no roots in rural Haryana. Its Hindutva card cannot work here. Sir Chottu Ram’s Kisan ideology appeals to the rural electorate deeply. Let the social workers, NGOs and others educate the voters to vote positively next time.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat, Jhajjar

Pak plea to US

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has urged the “US to take lead in solving the Kashmir issue” (The Tribune, Feb 22). What indeed is the “Kashmir issue” except that Pakistan had invaded and occupied part of Kashmir territory that is still under its illegal occupation and needs to be vacated?

The second part of the “issue” is the terrorism promoted, financed and exported by Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir state and elsewhere in this region. Unless Pakistani rulers shed their hatred towards India, no peace is possible between our two countries. Shouldn’t Uncle Sam take some tangible steps to weed out military dictators and demagogues who lead coups and seize power after throwing out lawfully constituted governments? At least those who live in glass houses should desist from throwing stones at others, particularly at their neighbours, in the name of democracy, human rights etc.

Wg-Cmdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Not the solution

Recently Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla lamented that Government schools have failed to give quality education. I don’t agree with his view on the results in these schools. The issue is how to upgrade the quality of education by providing more funds and laboratories to government schools. The government should fill up the posts of teachers. Private schools are faring well because they are fully equipped with staff and equipment. If government schools are privatised, teachers will have no job security and be exploited by the school managements.


Lessons from polls

The outcome of the elections has once again strengthened the democratic fibre of our nation. The voter has thrown out or cut to size the non-performer regimes in Haryana and Bihar. Though most voters are illiterate and poor, they are mature enough to show the door to those who take them for granted.

In Haryana, Mr Om Parkash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has received the severest drubbing for turning the party and government into a family concern.

In the elections, the voter and the Election Commission have again emerged victorious. Now it is up to the new government and parties to learn the lessons and perform.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula


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