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Wheat rotting in open

This refers to the editorial "Not just God's act" (April 21). Due to a record production, we are facing the problem of plenty. After battering untimely rains and hailstorms, the farmer brings his produce to the market. Here too, his travails continue as the rain spoils his produce lying in the open and the moisture content rises beyond the permissible limit, leaving the produce unfit for procurement. The government which has been chosen by the people and for the people seems to be apathetic.

The episode is repeated each year and only the producer is the loser. And after procurement, too, the stocks are left to rot in the open and eaten by rats and rodents, rendering them unfit for consumption. This sordid picture is man-made in which corruption plays a major role. Ministers and officials make millions in this rotten game. Why don't we have the infrastructure to store the produce and avoid its going waste?

As much as 21 million tonnes of wheat perish annually. And the figure for rice may not be far behind. Our netas are squandering public money on populist schemes just to protect vote banks. Why aren't more warehouses built to store the costly grains? Speedy transportation to the quarters concerned is needed.

The PDS also needs to be revamped to reduce the pressure for more storage of grains.

Karnail Singh, Kharar

Silo plan shelved?

In this election time, our politicians have kept issues related to the common man on the backburner. The issue of rotten foodgrains has been taken up by the court, but the political lobby is corrupt and united over the issue and has not bothered to raise its voice. Even as our poverty-stricken children in Odisha are starving, rodents are eating into the hard-earned farm produce.

The present stock also goes against the basic laws of economics. Though we have a huge supply, the price of wheat flour is rising. The Punjab Government proposed that silos be raised throughout the state, but the plan has been kept on hold.

The government should export the excessive stock to hunger-affected African countries.

Deepjot S Thukral, Ambala Cantt

Build silos, save grains

We have played havoc with Mother Nature, destroyed the tree cover and lavishly used the water resources. As a result, our ecology has been affected. We cannot predict weather patterns, including rainfall. Rain comes when we least expect it and it eludes us when we need it.

It is painful to see the hard work of farmers going down the drain by unseasonal rainfall. Such vagaries of weather are common in America too, but the farmers in North America are mechanically better equipped to deal with weather-related eventualities. Each farm has a silo big enough to accommodate the season’s full harvested crop in watertight and airtight conditions.

Farmers in India have tractors, harvesters and other machinery. The government should assist them in building silos large enough to accommodate 25% more than the entire crop. The crop should be stored in the silo immediately after harvesting and taken to the market only when it is ready for purchase during a spell of dry weather and lifted to larger godowns.

Harjap Singh Aujla, New Jersey (USA)

Crops not a poll issue

Apropos the editorial “Not just God’s act” (April 21), it is not only this year that untimely rains have damaged standing crops. This problem has been occurring regularly for the past many years. Shortage of storage space is also responsible for the annual loss of 21 million tonnes of wheat and other crops.

This is not an election issue because for politicians, it is not an important.

The Supreme Court last year rightly said that instead of letting so much wheat and other grains go waste, they should be distributed to the needy. Commission agents are of help to the farmers, but their activities need to be watched and curbed. The government and banks should provide people cheap loans to build godowns to store and save crops.

Rakesh Narula, via email

Indo-Pak bonhomie

This refers to the news item “Khushwant’s ashes taken to birthplace in Pak” (April 24). It was a commendable gesture on the part of Fakir Syed Aijazuddin to have taken a part of the ashes of the deceased patriarch writer Khushwant Singh to his place of birth in Hadali village which is 280 km from Lahore and mixed them in cement to put a plaque in his name under a sheesham tree where Khushwant Singh played as a child more than 90 years ago. Fakir Syed Aijazuddin comes from the illustrious family of the Syed brothers who served Maharaja Ranjit Singh in his court in various positions of distinction.

Such benevolent acts on the part of eminent persons augur well for the bonhomie that exists in the hearts of people on both sides of the border. I hope it gets translated into the diplomacy that dictates bilateral relations between the two countries. One is waiting for the new government to take appreciable steps in that direction a month from now. If the borders cannot be redrawn, at least they can be made irrelevant.

GS Aujla, Chandigarh

Hockey’s poor show

Apropos the news item “Euro tour helped team gain confidence” (April 22), it is matter of concern that the Indian hockey team has not been showing the desired improvement in its performance even after Netherlands’ Roelant Oltmans having been engaged as high performance Director of Indian Hockey) and Australian Terry Walsh as chief coach of the team. A huge amount of money is being spent on them and their staff. In the recently concluded European tour, the Indian team failed to perform well. Barring a 7-0 win against Minnow Leiden Club and a 3-3 draw against HGC Dutch Hockey Club, it suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Belgium and 2-4 and 1-2 losses while playing against Netherlands.

It is astonishing that the chief coach Terry Walsh was happy and satisfied over the poor show of the Indian team. Obviously, the coach is not the remedy to the problem and he should be sent back after the World Cup. The duty should be assigned to experienced and trained Indian coaches.

Iqbal Singh Saroya, Mohali

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: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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