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Popularise biomass plants

I read Bikram Singh Virk’s article, “A solution for power woes of Punjab” (Jan 4). Biomass plants are needed to cover Punjab’s increasing demand and supply gap for the coming summer. These plants are eco-friendly. With a lesser gestation period of one year, a single plant gave about 5,000 jobs to our youth.

However, coal-based thermal plants are costly, need 4 to 5 years for installation and pollute the environment. It is nice that 29 biomass plants are under construction and the first one in Punjab at Gulabwala in Muktsar district is running successfully. The second one in Abohar district will be ready in a few months. The need of the hour is to install mini power plants by using water, biomass and wind to meet the demand and supply gap.



Biomass plants as suggested by the writer are needed not only in Punjab but also in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal gets huge quantity of forest biomass waste as it has a large forest cover of 37033 sq km. The pine forests, which grow in 1376 sq km of forest area, need special attention as they shed tonnes of needle-shaped leaves.

These pine needles, which contain a high degree of inflammable oils and catch fire easily during the summers and cause forest fires, can best be used in power generation. This will not only check the forest fires but also provide the state eco-friendly additional power. Also the local populace will get part-time jobs in collecting and selling the pine needles to the power generation units.

L.R. SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)

What about Tytler?

The Delhi Lt-Governor’s sanction to the CBI to prosecute Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is welcome. This will assuage the feelings of the Sikh community. But what about Mr Jagdish Tytler? Why has he been left out? The Congress first gave tickets to both leaders to contest the last Lok Sabha elections but retracted following protests from the people.

Dr JASPAL SINGH, Mustafabad (Haryana)

Human rights

The editorial “Deaths in custody” (Dec 15) was undoubtedly shocking. The report of the National Human Rights Commission in which 1184 cases of custodial deaths have been reported suggests the cruel behaviour of the policemen. It also speaks volumes about their method of interrogation and investigation process which are crude and obsolete.

The Supreme Court should take action immediately against those responsible for custodial deaths.

Dr PANKAJ GARG, Sardulgarh

Helping farmers

Several articles have appeared in The Tribune regarding selling of farm produce. Before Partition, Chaudhary Sir Chhotu Ram also had desired reforms to get rid of the commission agents. But it became a difficult affair.

When the farmers need money, they easily get it from arhtiyas. The banks have complicated rules and have been keeping every generation of farmers away from them. However, the arhtiyas have been giving huge loans to farmers. Clearly, there is need for a concrete marketing system.

After retirement, I had formulated a programme for marketing reforms. Instead of leaving aside arhtiyas, they were included as participants and coordinators with the farmers for taking loans from the co-operative banks as a lasting solution. The state government should give top priority to this important issue and make plans to help the farmers.

J. L. DALAL, Former Director of Agriculture, Haryana

Other Ruchikas

Although the country has woken up now to take remedial measures to plug all escape routes in the Macaulay’s criminal law so that the Ruchika episode in not repeated in future, I feel that something more needs to be done. It is not one individual case of one Ruchika; there may be a number of such cases taking place but these are not being reported.

What is, in fact, needed is that the state machinery should put in place a mechanism so that the hapless victims feel empowered to report such incidents without fear. All social activists, NGOs and government functionaries should join hands so that the grunting human bears are taught a lesson.

S. YADAV, Chandigarh

Divisive agenda

Politicians in India have exploited people by creating divisions based on religion. As if that was not enough, they have found this innovative way to divide us further. Please stop this.

Telangana carved out of Andhra Pradesh, Poorvanchal (Uttar Pradesh), Gorkhaland (West Bengal) and what not! Too many states divided on linguistic basis are not desirable.


Save the sparrows

I read the news-item, “House sparrows on decline in region” (Dec 28). House sparrows have enjoyed an enduring relationship with humans. But the chirping of these beautiful birds in the mornings, which was otherwise an integral part of the environment, is now a thing of the past.

Mobile phone towers, emitting harmful radiation, have driven away the house sparrows. The strong toxic pesticides used on the crops are also responsible for their diminishing population. Pollution, too, has taken its toll.

To save house sparrows, random erection of mobile phone towers should be regulated. It is time this vanishing bird was included in the endangered list of species. Otherwise, the day is not far when our next generation will find house sparrows only in the picture books.




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