L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Avoidable floods in Punjab, Haryana

Successive governments in Punjab have failed to construct anti-flood bunds with stones and brick lining at base. Owing to poor maintenance, the bunds give up due to floods once in 10 years or so. Bunds should be promptly strengthened at least in the most flood-prone stretches.

Secondly, the plugging methods are archaic. Plastic sand bags have replaced jute bags. But we should go in for light pre-fabricated structures made of composite material to withstand the fury of gushing flood. We need module-based structures to plug different gaps with an average depth of 35-50 feet formed due to erosion. These structures should be light to help vehicles ferry them on narrow bunds and link roads.

Thirdly, the Army is best suited for evacuation of people and not plugging of gaps in bunds. It neither has the expertise nor the material to plug breaches. It can provide ready manpower, medical covers and officers for control and coordination.


Fourthly, the disaster management strategic planning system requires simulating panic chaotic situations and train manpower to tackle the impending disaster. But the present system, because of its focus on routine governance, is not attuned to meet contingencies.

And finally, the Centre can help Punjab’s flood victims by swiftly revising the Calamity Relief fund norms. In the present form, the relief norms are too meager to provide any succour to the victims.

Lt-Col JASJIT SINGH GILL (retd), Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, Moga


I read the editorial, “Avoidable floods” (Aug 19). The floodwaters of the Sutlej have affected hundreds of villages in Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Moga districts. The irrigation department officials are notoriously corrupt. They never inspect and survey the bunds.

If you write a dozen letters to the district administration or the irrigation department about the weak state of a particular bund, nobody takes prompt remedial action. If once a top official is dismissed for such lapses, others will sit up and do the needful. As no action is taken against the defaulting officers, they have become bold and are busy in lining their pockets.

The government has no contingency plans even on paper, let alone keeping the men, material and transport ready for any emergency. Everywhere the local people are left to fend for themselves or depend upon some charitable organisation. The country is passing through functioning anarchy.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali


The unprecedented floods have affected Haryana very badly. Over 16,000 hectares of low lying areas in three districts — Bhiwani’s 36 villages and 30 per cent area; Jhajjar’s 30 villages and 50 per cent area); and Rohtak’s 20 villages and 20 per cent area. Bhiwani’s urban township is worst hit. It reminds one of the 1995 flood devastation when the Rohtak township became a vast lake.

Dr B.S. TANWAR, Chief Engineer (retd),Kurukshetra

Holding people to ransom

The editorial, “Strikes vs people” (Aug 26) has rightly pointed out that our political parties are united when it comes to disrupting normal life. Is there no other method for registering one’s protest? How can people take the law into their hands, paralyse normal life and hold everyone to ransom? Clearly, we have a dearth of statesmen and are simply guided by leaders who are more interested in satisfying their ego.

Ironically, when the world is looking at emerging India vis-à-vis growth, our political parties are busy in mutual recrimination and settling scores for partisan ends.

RAJ SINGAL,Chandigarh


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Classified Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |