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Help Kashmiri migrants

Apropos the news items on the migrants of Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet has given approval for an amendment in the Prime Minister's package to allow the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. It is a laudable step. However, we should not forget the plight of the homeless destitutes who have been living like strangers in their own country for more than six decades. Migrants from PoK have not been given the facilities which the other migrants are getting in the country. The land on which they have been living for three generations is still not in their names. The government is not even bothered about their employment and livelihood. It should be a matter of concern for the country.

Dr Gita Sharma & Surbir Kaur, Chandigarh

Agusta copter deal

Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, has given the right professional opinion (news report, “Agusta copters were exactly what we wanted: Air Chief”, November 21). Now it is up to the government to accept or reject it. The Army would have lost a good gun if going by the alleged payoffs the Bofors deal had been cancelled. We should refrain from cancelling the copter deal. Besides, why was the Air Chief kept out of the decision-making loop? Isn't it strange that he learnt about it from newspapers? Why have the services chiefs if they are not needed? Let the all-knowing babus run the show.


Missing sparrows

The editorial “The Missing Sparrow” (December 4) rightly points out the importance and sentimental attachment with the house sparrow. Its near-extinction ought to be a matter of concern for all bird lovers and environmentalists. A Yamunanagar professor has conclusively established that its extinction is directly associated with unmindful use of insecticides, which resulted in the killing of insects. Sparrows are dependent on insects for their food and can’t survive on grains. They are found abundantly at Dal Lake, Srinagar, where insecticides are not used.

Dr. V K Anand, Patiala

Mini forests may help

India is not the only place where the sparrows have disappeared from the cities. In the Netherlands, they are already an endangered species. In Britain, their population is dropping at such an alarming rate that they are now in the red list as a species of high conservation concern. In France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Czech, Republic and Finland, the story is not very different. I listen to the chirping of sparrows recorded in my mobile. I also recollect that there used to be painting of pair of sparrows by my father, which got the first prize with the caption: “Darling believe me, I love you.”

Can we not think of ‘mini forests’ within the urban set-up? These should have little ponds to collect the rain run-off in small wetlands, where indigenous aquatic plants can grow and water birds can find sustenance.


Make nest boxes

The fact that the sparrows are on the verge of extinction is a matter of concern (“Pesticides have taken away sparrows, says study,” December 2). With the decline in the population of sparrows in urban areas mainly for want of nesting spaces owing to a change in the pattern of the construction of houses, a collective effort is needed to arrange for artificial nest boxes on the roofs of our houses to attract the birds. I recently saw some sparrows on the branches of a small dry tree in front of the Akal Takht building in the Golden Temple. It was amazing to find them surviving in an area that is urban with no fields around where these sparrows could find insects for their diet.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Check illegal mining

Illegal mining going on in Haryana is a matter of concern. Of the activity being undertaken at about 70 points in the state, the Yamunanagar mining zone is the biggest. The government should take steps like patrolling and installing CCTV cameras at river ends to check the illegal mining. The police should carry out search operations in the mining zones. The members of the task force constituted to check illegal mining should be provided proper security.

Ranjit K.Chandan, Balachaur

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]



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