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Uranium in water is a matter of concern

The editorial “Crippling uranium” (June 15) was timely and focussed attention on the deteriorating quality of water and air in the Malwa region of Punjab. The high concentration of uranium has been attributed to the Kota nuclear power plant, the Khushab heavy water plant in Pakistan and winds from the neighbouring country. It is true that Punjab does not have any uranium mine. There are no rocks exposed on the surface in South-West Punjab.

However, rocks of the Aravali-Delhi ridge and Malani granites and rhyolites are exposed at Tusham, Bhiwani district, Haryana. Just south of the Malwa region, these rocks turn northwest from Tusham and become submerged under the Punjab plains only to resurface at the Kirana hills, Pakistan. This is borne out by gravity data.

The Malani granites and rhyolites exposed at Tusham and the adjoining areas have a high concentration of uranium and thorium. Uranium concentration is between 8 and 11.5 ppm (particles per million) as compared to normal values of 4.5 ppm in granites. There is also indiscriminate quarrying of these rocks at Khanak and the adjoining hills near Tusham. Fine dust coming out of crushers carries these elements, which are transported by the wind action.

Prof NARESH KOCHHAR, Geology Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh


The Tribune is playing a major role in awakening the people. The editorial amply pointed out that in Punjab life is considered so cheap that no one has ever bothered to see that polluted water is playing havoc with the health and life of the people.

The Punjab government is indecisive and believes in half measures. Isn’t the government obligated to take stringent measures to check the inflow of industrial pollutants in water? Is it not imperative to educate farmers on the indiscriminate use of fertilizers and chemicals?

AJIT SINGH, Windsor, Canada


Indeed it is a matter of concern that water samples in the southern Malwa region of Punjab contain high amount of uranium. The editorial has rightly pointed out that Punjab does not have any uranium mines. Then why and how has this happened? This is a serious development putting many lives at risk. The Punjab government must wake up before it is too late.


Bhopal gas tragedy

The Bhopal gas tragedy verdict has underlined many important things (Man Mohan’s article, “Crocodile tears for Bhopal”, June 19). The callousness of those in the state and Central government mirrors their mindset.

Can the victims of the Bhopal tragedy forget the night when a killer cloud of gas settled over an area of Bhopal and brought untold misery and suffering? Effort to unfold the mystery that shrouds the escape of Warren Anderson is of lesser importance than lessening the pain and miseries of victims. The government should concentrate on ways and means to help the victims.


Booze with water

The news report “Here, booze comes free with water” (June 18) documenting an alarming alcohol content in ground water in areas close to Punjab distilleries  exposed the apathetic attitude  of the government.

The expected visit of the legislators led by Vidhan Sabha Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon to Scotland shows how politicians or bureaucrats are ever ready to exploit any situation to their benefit for visiting foreign lands even when the  information sought can be studied on the Internet or by consulting experts in India.

Moreover, before visiting foreign lands the legislators should ensure proper treatment and disposal of effluents which are discharged into various water bodies or soil. Industries violating the prescribed pollution norms must be punished. The misguided acts of the so-called people’s representatives add to the increasing loss of faith and the credibility of politicians in the minds of the common people.


Treat children well

A society is best judged by the way it treats its children (editorial, “Corporal punishment”, June 18). The inhuman practice of corporal punishment not only results in grave injuries, but also many innocent little ones develop a phobia of going to schools. Thus, their future is affected adversely.

Many children are psychologically shattered or resort to suicide. It is high time teachers acted as true well-wishers of the students.

Instead of overburdening them with homework and tests, teachers should inculcate morals and values among students. Counselling can rectify weaknesses among the children. Unless the minds of the children are without fear, they cannot hold their heads high.


Changing role of women

Sajla Chawla’s article “Shy and submissive no more” (June 19) has aptly highlighted that our society is evolving. Positive indicators can be seen. There is a change in the woman’s attitude supported by valid statistics. The fertility rate has declined, indicating the acceptance of family planning and late marriage norms.

Today many women are economically independent, have job satisfaction and play a decision-making role at workplace and home. Certainly, society is changing its mindset.

Women are proving their worth not only in the urban areas but in rural India also. They are leading rural movements. Still a lot needs to be done in order to give them confidence to carry on their struggle further.




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