Stop “export” of precious water

This is with reference to the recent conference of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics at Ludhiana, regarding efficient use of water resources. We are lagging behind in devising ways and means to check the sharply depleting underground water table. Already, farmers in North India are resorting to deep tube wells which add to increase in input costs and wastage of energy.

Our coming generations will never forgive us if we fail to manage water resources efficiently. It is suggested that “black blocks” be demarcated where ground-water has gone beyond certain depth; tube wells should be given power at market rates. At the same time farmers in these areas should be given incentives for crop diversification. In fact we are exporting water with the export of rice and wheat. Any export mechanism for rice and wheat must include a water cess. The revenue should be used for research and proper water management in the region.


Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


One rank, one pension

This is with reference to the report relating to a decision on the one rank-one pension issue (Dec 2.) Many a time our leaders and officials have made public promises about its imminent implementation. But nothing happens. Our disciplined soldiers raise their demands through peaceful and lawful means. It is, indeed, a great pity that service personnel who retired when they were on a lower scale compared to today, are drawing low pensions in these hard times.

Major M.L. BATURA (retd), Karnal

Share of canal waters

BJP leader Jaswant Singh, while presiding over the concluding session of the seminar on “India’s foreign policy and national security” held at Chandigarh recently, blamed Punjab for not permitting delivery of the allocated share of canal waters to the farmers of Rajasthan.

Had Mr Jaswant Singh cared to look into ground-truth he would have found that the stage II works of the Rajasthan Canal Project, which covers about two-thirds of the total project area, is not yet ready to receive water. This area is covered by the wind-blown, fine-grained, sand dune soil, underlain by hardpan at shallow depth. It is thus not fit to be covered by the flooding mode of irrigation as conceived. Instead, a sprinkler irrigation system should be provided. The lifts scheme provided in stage II is yet to be completed. So the leader of opposition should get the needful done before blaming Punjab.

Dr G.S. DHILLON, Chandigarh

Shared heritage

This is with reference to your editorial “Water is for all” (Dec. 2). The Prime Minister has rightly said that “rivers are the shared heritage of the country. They should be the strings that unite us, not the strings which divide us”. It must, however, be remembered that states on or near the banks of rivers have certain exclusive, inherent rights known as riparian rights. This is so also in accordance with international law.

Linking of rivers is no doubt a laudable proposal. However, detailed studies must be carried out beforehand We have, of course, linked the three eastern rivers of the Indus System, namely Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, for optimum utilisation of their waters.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh

England’s defeat

England’s two and a half years’ test winning spree came to a grinding halt when Pakistan trounced them by an innings and 100 runs in the third and final test to wrap up the series 2-0. The series loss was indeed a rude awakening for an outfit which reclaimed the Ashes authoritatively from the mighty Aussies not very long ago.

It was Pakistan’s awesome performance in all departments of the game that enabled them to humble England. India, who are to play Pakistan in the New Year, must have taken cognizance of their arch-rivals’ resurgence. They will have to gird up their loins right now to prepare to take on their traditional opponents.



The Pakistan cricket team deserves accolades for beating England. Till their Pakistan tour, England, under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan, had remained unbeaten for nearly two and a half years during which period they not only beat the West-Indies (twice), South Africa, New Zealand and Bangladesh but also Australia in the Ashes. England’s loss to Pakistan was mainly due to their inept batting. Had they shown the same grit and determination with which they faced the formidable battery of Australian fast bowlers, and the wily spin of Shane Warne, they would not have collapsed against Pakistan so tamely.

D.K. AGGARWALA, Hoshiarpur

The whistle blower

Again, we have the same old story of targeting, torturing and punishing the whistle blower, instead of the perpetrator. Anil Mathrani, Ambassador to Croatia and a member of the Congress Party delegation to Iraq, spilled the beans about the actors in the Iraqi oil drama — Natwar Singh, Jagat Singh and Andy Sehgal. Mathrani was handled with lightening speed. He was immediately shunted out of his job, ordered to take the first flight to India and then taken physical possession of at the airport itself by the Enforcement Directorate, RAW and IB. High profile players are freely giving interviews in the media while Mathrani, a small fry, is being grilled.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula


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