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Wastage of water is criminal

Several months ago, I had written to the Punjab Government that during the monsoon season due to mismanagement in the canal system, several thousand cusecs of Punjab’s water of the Sutlej and the Beas is being wasted into Pakistan. This wastage should be plugged by building more storage capacity.

The optimum carrying capacity of all the canals getting out of the Harike barrage is 39000 cusecs. But due to breaches, siltation and dis-repair, their actual capacity has been reduced to less than 21000 cusecs. The remaining 18000 cusecs are also released for the Hussainiwala Headworks. The Hussainiwala headworks is incapable of feeding 18000 cusecs into Indian dilapidated canals. As a result this headworks, which was empty 3 months ago, is now overflowing and discharging a lot of water into Pakistan.

This is a callous wastage of national resources. What we could produce with better planning, we could not due to poor or no planning. Rajasthan could not sow cotton due to lack of water in the Rajasthan bound canals and Punjab farmers had to delay sowing of cotton and had to drastically reduce area under this cash crop.

I am once again requesting the Punjab Government to build a series of low dams over both the Beas and the Sutlej, up-stream of the Harike Barrage, so that the entire river beds become a series of lakes. These lakes besides recharging the badly depleted underground water table in the sweet water districts of Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshehar, Jalandhar, Moga and Ludhiana and preventing the water from wasting into Pakistan, will also be able to meet the industrial and municipal needs of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Phagwara and Amritsar.



Babri connection

One terrorism incident after another for the last 16 years, all over the country! Question of POTA or no Pota is only a political gimmick. It is not all that material; only to hide the guilt.

Country is reaping the harvest of demolition of Babri Masjid — a thoughtless unsoldier-like action that was reckoned to be an act of bravery and heroism to avenge the defeat at the hands of Babar, after a lapse of 500 years. Mute structure could not retaliate. But the counter-retaliation that it produced is being suffered by the country since then, and for how long one does not know.

Things can still be retrieved by right thinking. It requires a man of Mahatma Gandhi’s stature to atone for the blunder made in 1992 and to seek an honest pardon of the community that has been badly hurt, offended and mauled (as in Gujarat). Babari Masjid should be re-constructed at its original site by mutual cooperation of all concerned. And Ram Mandir should also built at the adjacent location. No ill feelings.

If we want to serve the country and save it from further destruction and loss of innocent lie, this is the least that we can do in all fairness and honesty. Let us take courage to do so.


Icing on the cake

During the two-day vote-of-confidence session of Indian Parliament, we heard an interminable calumny of worst horse-trading between various factions to reach the magic figure of the majority but what surpassed everything else was the brandishing of wads of currency inside the House in full glare of the watching world. I do not understand how a bagful of currency notes could be sneaked into the well of the House.

Why no questions were asked on its way to the House and why they could not be intercepted by the security on way is a mystery. If the honourable members use their privilege to sneak so-called tainted money inside Parliament the day is no far when swords and revolvers may secure an easy entry likewise.

The debate, however, was not without its saving graces. One could hear the best speakers from the old and young showing tremendous promise for our parliamentary future. The range of speeches extended between the sublime and the ridiculous — each one unique in itself.

But the cake belonged to the Speaker in the true tradition of his august office. The Speaker who true to the textbook is supposed to take exile from politics succeeded in demonstrating that it was indeed possible to do so.

G.S. AUJLA, Chandigarh



Repressive regime

The Olympic Games are a symbol of love, friendship and unity. The International Olympic Committee gives due consideration to all these significant aspects before selecting a country for hosting such an important international event. It also sees that the host country is functioning under the democratic setup and maintaining the highest level of human rights.

It appears that while awarding the prestigious international event to People’s Republic of China, the Organising Committee overlooked all these aspects. China is functioning under a dictatorial setup. The countrymen have no freedom to raise their voice. This was the opportune moment for the Olympic Committee to take stock of the position and taken them to task. Are we living in the world of double standards?

The momentum was built up by the Tibetan people for autonomy of their land worldwide in the beginning of the handing-over function of the Olympic Torch but the movement has been suppressed. Can the Olympic Game carry the message of peace, friendship and unity under such circumstances?




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