Towards a second green revolution

I refer to the editorial ďFocus on dryland farmingĒ (July 18). India became self-sufficient in food in the sixties with extensive use of better seeds and chemicals. The first green revolution boosted our wheat and paddy output. With a billion plus population comprising one-seventh of the world, we are, perhaps, sliding back to the era of scarcities again. That is why, Dr M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, has stressed the need for dryland farming or raising crops on rainwater.

Assured irrigation is available to a limited area only. The Shivalik zone, foothills, semi-hills, the undulating terrain and the unpredictable rainfall cycle all point out that dryland farming is the only alternative to usher in the second green revolution. Every source of moisture available from the atmosphere should be utilised since 70 per cent of our land under cultivation is drought prone. Desertification is a big threat to some areas.

Dr Swaminathan has rightly pleaded that our food budget should be managed with homegrown food only. Coarse grains like pulses, oilseeds, millets etc, though nutritious, are highly underutilised. If included in the public distribution system, the raised prices will lure farmers to cultivate these coarse crops.

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan



The editorial rightly emphasised the importance of dryland farming put forth by Dr M.S. Swaminathan. The water table in Punjab and Haryana is alarmingly going down. The authorities are simply not bothered about the water needs of the people. I am afraid, we might face acute water problem in about a decade hence.

To overcome this problem, dryland farming is the need of the hour. The Centre and the states must encourage it through vigorous propaganda. It should be made a part of the curricula in the educational institutions. Spreading public awareness on water conservation is also very important.

N.L. JINDAL, Mansa

Of learnersí driving

It is common to see driving schools training car-learners in the busy roads. Sometimes, they are stuck in the thick of traffic and hinder the smooth flow of traffic. At traffic lights and roundabouts, things get worse with their vehicles moving at a snailís pace or coming to a halt due to gear jam. This also leads to traffic jams.

To teach learners in the major roads is highly undesirable. Training should be restricted to only inner roads of any sector. Moreover, the trainees should learn driving only during off-peak hours, preferably in specified areas.


At loggerheads

I am shocked to read the report about the tussle among the officials of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (July 26). These officials have forgotten the days when the common man had to stand in the queue for hours to get a ration of 5 kg of Redley Australian wheat.This was the situation in 1955. It is only due to PAUís consistent efforts that today wheat has become surplus in the state.

The present-day officials should get a little advice from former Punjab Chief Secretary I.C. Puri. He will certainly come out with a solution to bail out the PAU. The scientific fraternity of PAU cannot forget his gift in the form of personal promotion policy given during his brief tenure as the Vice-Chancellor.

Dr K.K. SHARMA, PAU, Ludhiana

Renovation of monuments

I thank the Haryana government for having allocated funds for renovation of ancient monuments in the state. Karan Taal will get a new look. I hope this implies the Old Karan Taal inside the town behind Agarwal Dharamsala and not the present-day Karan Tall in the Chakravarty lake near Uchana village on the GT Main Road adjacent to Toll Barrier.

The original/old Karan Taal had the Devi Temple on the east bank, Lord Shiva Temple (Jharkandhi) on the south bank. The orphanage temple on the west bank and the Agarwal Dharamsala Temple on the north bank, a setting normally followed in the olden days with temples on the banks of lakes. The Old Karan Taal was one of the 108 water bodies dug around the Kurukshetra region for supplying water to the Army during the Mahabharat. It has now been converted into a park which cries for attention.

The present-day Karan Taal in Chakravarty lake is a falsification of history. If the intention is to renovate the Chakravarty lake (named after the then Governor of Haryana during the Bansi Lal regime), it will signify the perpetuation of a mistake.

Lt-General V.P. AIRY (retd),

Dehra Dun



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