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Soil fertility going up in smoke

This refers to the news report, “Up in smoke” (October 24). Despite the ban on the burning of paddy stubble, some farmers continue with the practice, leading to crop damage on account of fires in the fields. Academicians, agriculture research scientists and law makers need to work towards the framing of a law that makes the performance of states on the environment front as one of the parameters to put an end to straw burning. At present, in the event of burning of paddy and wheat, the deputy commissioner concerned orders the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC to ban the burning of paddy, but it is hardly implemented. And, there is little effort to sensitise farmers on the issue.

The burning of paddy and wheat fields causes a huge loss of precious nutrients and pollutes the environment. The heat generated by burning paddy straw kills useful microbes in the soil, leading to poor soil health and loss of fertility. The authorities should enact a law prohibiting the burning of crop residue as there is no specific law thus far. Stringent punishment and heavy penalty for violators and disconnection of electricity supply to the tubewells of the farmers who burn their own fields after the crop would help curb this practice.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana

Colossal waste

The project of Aadhaar card has cost the government thousands of crores of rupees. All this money has gone down the drain because firstly, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not mandatory to extend benefits to the cardholders and secondly, ration depot holders and gas agencies are not honouring them. Instead, they are demanding ration cards. The other day, my help's father went to the ration depot in Chandigarh with copies of his Aadhaar card, bank account passbook and voter ID card for registration under the new Food Security Act, but he was told that the Aadhaar card was not valid and that he should bring his ration card.

The UIAI chairman, Nandan Nilekani, should be held responsible and prosecuted in a court of law for causing this huge loss to the exchequer. Any government servant causing a much less loss would have been similarly proceeded against.

Manjit Singh Juneja, Mohali

Ban khaps

The diktats of khap panchayats in Haryana are becoming a scourge for local girls. Some girls have even beome victims of 'honour killings' because of stern rules enacted by the khaps. This has led to intimidation of girls, thus preventing them from living freely in their own place. Keeping a close eye over girls regarding what they are carrying, with whom they are talking, what they are wearing, etc. has made their life difficult. Khaps have turned their environment into a prison. Despite turning the lives of young girls into hell, khaps enjoy the support of the government. It is time for the enactment of a law banning khaps.



Honour killings and khap panchayats have become a gigantic stain on the face of our society. These are jeopardising the future of girls and boys. One question to parents who kill their children for their own pride and honour is when they (parents) commit such a flagitious crime, is their honour restored? Khaps are being headed by persons who are rather giving impetus to heinous crimes. Everyone has the right to choose his/her life partner. Girls should be treated as equal to boys if we want an egalitarian society. This can be done by educating women and making them aware of their rights.


Bring onion Bill

Apropos the article, “Onion on boil”, inflation and corruption have broken all records during the rule of the Congress-led UPA-II. With the unprecedented rise in the prices of onions, the common man is shedding tears, but our so-called popular government seems unconcerned with his plight. The measures taken have proven to be counter-productive and the prices of onions, instead of coming down, have shot through the roof. From Rs 30 per kg, the price has soared to Rs 100 per kg. Any government worth its name would have taken emergency and drastic steps to control the price of this commodity but corrupt stockists and hoarders are dearer to the government than the poor voters, who have no choice except to vote for them. Bring the Onion Bill, which is far more important than the Food Bill. Rising prices and corruption will be major issues of the 2014 General Election. The UPA must mend its ways or be prepared to face the wrath of people next year.


Testing times for medicos

After the recent uncertainties about the NEET examination, there comes another problem in the path of MBBS graduates. We medicos have been working hard to achieve our goals since childhood. But look at the government: it has declared the date for the PG exam just one month after its notification. In this period, for the MBBS graduates have to fill in the application forms and prepare for the test in the midst of their busy day and night internships that give meagre stipends. On the other hand, the stiff competition that the students have to face is rising day by day in the light of the increasing number of 'donation seats' and the rooted corruption in the system. All these problems are making the lives of MBBS students tough.

Dr Ridima Sachdeva, Yamunanagar



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