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Fast depleting water table alarming

Punjab’s water table is fast depleting. Though much water is required for the paddy crop, much of the water percolates into the ground when used for irrigation. Only a part of it is evaporated.

River water is used for irrigation through a network of canals and distributaries. The soft surface of the ploughed soil absorbs maximum water quickly which keeps on recharging the depleted water table underneath the ground. By pumping we use that stored water and the cycle goes on.

In the last decade or so, the danger bells began to ring about the precarious level of the ground water table. Scanty rains have played havoc with the ground water table. Earlier, slow rain spell continued for many days; now it is shorter spells.

Owing to deforestation and absence of vegetation, the rainwater fails to seep in the soil and remain protected/ stored under the natural cover. New colonies of houses, roads, rail lines, airports, factories etc. have curtailed the open space.

The greed for more land has resulted in the encroachment of village ponds, pastures and marshy tracts of land. The natural water bodies were useful to replenish the storage of ground water down in the womb of earth. Our rivers, water bodies like dams, choes, rivulets and natural water springs are fast drying up. Harvesting of rainwater is of paramount importance to conserve water.



Punjab’s water table is declining fast but the government is yet to wake up and
take appropriate action. There are promises that Punjab’s decaying canal system
will soon be modernised, but no master plan has been prepared, what action will
be taken and when.

About two-thirds of the area need urgent “recharge measures” in view of the falling water table and the other one-third is waterlogged needing urgent action. The surface water sources have got polluted badly, but the Chief Minister is yet to make up his mind whether to punish the polluting units.

There is no accurate list of the tube wells in operation. There is need for a Model Ground Water Act so that controls can be imposed. But the government seems to be reluctant to take action.

Dr G. S. DHILLON, Chandigarh

Save the girl child

Recently, Harsimrat Kaur Badal launched a unique project called Nanhi Chaan in Amritsar. Based on a unique concept, it is all about saving our environment as also the girl child from being killed in the womb. Owing to global warming, we are facing problems like climate change. These may increase in future endangering our coming generations if we don’t take appropriate steps now. Consequently, there is need to grow more trees to save ourselves. We get oxygen from these trees because of which we live. So, we must grow trees to save ourselves.

We should encourage the birth of a girl as she also has the right to live like men. Today, women excel in every walk of life — politics, journalism, civil services and academics. So, we must support their growth and development and not kill them. Secondly, as the sex ratio of women is very low as compared to men, we must encourage the birth of a girl. I appeal to everyone to support this valuable project.


Secular country

Continued attacks on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka and Jharkhand are very sad. Beating of nuns and burning of churches run counter to the tenets of any religion including Hinduism. A few influential radical, conservative groups like the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have scant respect for the law and the Constitution.

India is the world’s largest democracy and yet see how there is increasing religious intolerance in the country. If concrete steps are not taken soon, its secular credentials will be suspect in the comity of nations.

KAMAL SINGH, Chandigarh

VC’s selection

I read the editorial, “Vice of interference”. The Knowledge Commission’s recommendation for “zero interference” in the appointment of VCs is most welcome. It is common knowledge that the academics cultivate proximity to powers that be to grab positions of power in the universities. I agree with the comment that the “essential qualification ends up as the concerned person’s proximity to the authority who is to make the final selection out of the panel”.

There is a lot of lobbying for entering the name into the list of probables and the word goes around whose candidate is in the list. Unfortunately, this would continue despite the best intentions of the Knowledge Commission.

Our society continues to be deeply feudalistic and the loyalties are paid back in terms of plum positions like VCs.

MADAN MOHAN, Palampur (HP)

Laudable, but…

By constructing an alternative bridge on the Ghaggar river between Sector 3 and Sector 21 in Panchkula, the Haryana government has done a laudable work for the development of Sectors 22 to 28 across the Ghaggar river.

However, unlawful development of Azad Colony along the approach road of this bridge is quite deplorable. The residents are not supposed to open the doors of their houses on the main road to avoid accidents.

Moreover, on this stretch, no vehicle should be allowed to stop for free traffic flow. It would be better if the residents of Azad Colony were shifted to an alternative site to ensure safe journey of the commuters.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula



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