L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



AGRICULTURE

  ‘Agriculture is not all green’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Working in green fields should mean one is not contributing to damaging the environment. But Punjab Agricultural University experts say that is not the case. Like any other industry, agriculture also contributes to pollution.

The burning of wheat and rice straws by the farmers in their fields after the harvesting of their rabi (wheat) and kharif (rice) crops in April and September and October is a major factor contributing to this. This is besides the chemical pollution caused by the use of pesticides and other chemical fertilisers.

Disclosing this here today on World Environment Day, Dr K K Gill and Dr P K Sidhu of Department of Agronomy, Agrometereology and Forestry, PAU, emphasised that this needs to be checked by all means for better air quality and healthy living.

They observed the farmers think that fire is the most economical and easiest way to clear their fields for further sowing. But they are ignorant of the fact that fire in their fields kills friendly pests and microbes that increase the fertility of soil, the experts said. It also brings about adverse environmental changes, they added.

The experts said the number of global hydro-meteorological disasters has doubled over the past 10 years. During this period more than 90 per cent of people killed by natural hazards lost their lives as a consequence of severe meteorological and hydrological events. Asia was the continent most frequently hit by disasters registering nearly 43 per cent of the total number of events and 80 per cent of the people killed. It is a fact that recent warming over land is twice as much as that over the oceans. They pointed out the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1990 only.

Dr Gill said monsoon variability, heavy precipitation events, floods, snowmelt, droughts and desertification, heat and cold waves, and rise in the sea level and coastal impacts are some of the extreme events taking place in India.

The minimum temperatures have generally increased, but the magnitude of increase varies with the location whereas the maximum temperatures have generally decreased and the magnitude of decrease also varies with the location. The rainfall has invariably shown an increasing trend.

Dr Sidhu said these climatic variations could affect growth and yield of crops in the region. A simulation study has revealed when temperature increases by 1 degree Celsius, the yield of rice, wheat, and groundnut could decrease by 3, 10 and 4 per cent respectively. With further increase in temperature the yield progressively decreased.

But these decreases were compensated by increase in carbon dioxide due to latter's fertilising effect on crop growth.

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Leaf colour chart released for paddy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
In a state-level meeting of the agricultural extension specialists, a leaf colour chart was released by Dr B.S. Dhillon, director of research, and Dr N.S. Malhi, director of extension education, PAU, Ludhiana.

The leaf colour chart has been prepared by the department of soil sciences, PAU, for determining nitrogen requirement during paddy cultivation.

Giving details, Dr Dhillon said PAU had developed the chart on the lines of similar leaf colour chart by International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Phillipines.

However, the chart by PAU had been tailored to suit the regional needs. He expressed satisfaction that early paddy transplantation could be averted to some extent due to the concerted efforts of PAU extension workers, the department of agriculture, government policies and support of the Farmers’ Commission.

The subscribers of Changi Kheti/Progressive Farming can collect these charts from the respective Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

Dr N.S.Malhi informed that leaf colour chart would be provided free of cost to the subscribers of two PAU monthlies, Changi Kheti and Progressive Farming.

In addition, Krishi Vigyan Kendras would shoulder the responsibility to popularise it in different districts.

During the meeting, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal of the department of agricultural economics, delved on crop insurance scheme. He said most of the farmers were not aware of it and organisations like IFFCO could help popularise the same. Similarly, Farmer Health Insurance Scheme, to be started by cooperatives, should also evoke a favourable response.

Dr P.P. Sahota of the department of microbiology, highlighted the importance of chlorinated water in countering water-borne diseases. She said it also outweighed filtered water in providing water-nutrients.

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Khalsa College BCA students secure top positions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
The students of BCA-I, II, and III of Khalsa College for Women have secured top positions in the university merit list for the year 2006-07.

In BCA-I examinations, the college has been placed in the first, second and third position in the merit list. Aashita Jain stood first with 89.75 per cent marks, Sakshi Gupta stood second with 86 per cent while Sakshi Jain stood third with 84.88 per cent marks. In BCA-II examinations, Priyanka Gupta stood second in the university with 83.37 per cent marks. Three other students have bagged top positions in the district.

In BCA-III examinations, Anita Singh stood third in the university with 84.37 per cent and Alka Singal stood fifth in the university with 83.79 per cent marks.

The overall pass percentage of the college has far exceeded the university pass percentage.

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Schools hold events to save environment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
World Environment Day was marked by some contests at the Green Land Senior Secondary Public School here today.

The students participated in an inter-house painting and poster-making competition on the topic ‘Save Earth Save Life’. Jagriti House was adjudged the best. The posters depicted how plastic bags, water pollution, air pollution and cutting of trees is ruining the world’s future. The students took a pledge to make earnest efforts to save mother earth.

A summer activity camp commenced at Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, today. The students were encouraged to save their environment through tree plantation. The teachers focused on the concept of global warming and encouraged the students to plant at least one sapling on their  birthday.

Principal Rajinder Sharma and progarmme officer, NSS unit of the school Dheeraj Sharma, also spoke on the occasion.

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