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

UPA must take pro-people decisions

The brief appraisal of the annual report card of the UPA-II (editorial, “Time to look ahead”, June 3) was timely. No doubt, running a coalition government is not an easy task, but experience provides knowledge and skill to tackle difficult situations. The UPA-II has been successful in providing political stability to the country. Inclusive growth is its priority.

The RTE is a major step in this direction. We hope “Women’s Reservation Bill” will get through after proper discussion among all political parties. The UPA-II has also been successful in improving international relations. The country is boldly coping with economic recession.

But the UPA-II has a lot to do in the next four years. It must coordinate with other political parties to get the policies and programmes implemented. Really, “price rise” and “internal security” are two major challenges before the government.

Economic sectors pertaining to industry, agriculture and services need special attention not only to enhance production but also for employment generation. The social sector needs to be strengthened to better the lot of the deprived sections. The government’s active role must enable the people to have an access to education, healthcare, clean drinking water and other essential infrastructure. NREGA, Bharat Nirman, NRHM and other pro-people national schemes must be implemented in an effective manner. Food wastage must be prevented.

To improve governance, democratic institutions should be strengthened. The UPA-II must remain above board and take pro-people decisions. It must provide a people’s government. Certainly, it is time for it to look ahead with a vision.


Killer borewells

Yet another precious life has been lost due to lack of appropriate preventive measures. How many more little children will become a prey to such borewells? Why are borewells not properly covered so that such accidents do not occur in future? One cannot even imagine how dreadful those last hours of Dilnaz’s life would have been.

Through joint efforts of administration, engineers and local people a permanent solution to this problem must be found. Legal action must be taken against those who cause such accidents due to their carelessness. Besides this, rescue operations must be timely and well planned.



Another child Dilnaz died at Batala after being trapped in a deeply dug borewell for no fault of hers. Why do such accidents keep recurring in our country?

The careless attitude of local authorities with negligible or no accountability seems to be the sole reason. Serious and sincere efforts need to be made for saving precious lives.


Use of storage dams

The article by Bharat Dogra (May 12) gives one-sided view of storage dams. Big storage dams across rivers are indispensable because they store the monsoon run-off which otherwise would have gone to the sea unutilised. Therefore, the primary use of such dams is the irrigation of agricultural fields. These dams also help in flood control, generation of power and tourism.

Upstream dams in cascades are essential to utilise the full hydropower potential of the river basin and ensure equi-distribution of silt. Accordingly, the retention of silt at the Kol Dam will increase the life of Bhakra reservoir. The reservoir of 480 ft. high Salal Dam in J&K is full of silt because there were no upstream dams across the river Chenab.

Run-off–the-river projects of the NHPC have only 40 per cent power load factors and face frequent closure of power plants once the silt concentration increases 5000 ppm.

The NTPC and other agencies in Uttaranchal made the mistake of diverting the river flow through costly tunnels and rendered the riverbed dry. Direct running of turbines in the flowing water as suggested by the author is possible only across small streams where rainfall is moderate and continuous for a long time, as in Switzerland.




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