Is Narmada water being made to flow in Sabarmati not supplied to city of Ahmedabad? This has furthered the idea of river...
I have been selling glass for commercial buildings talking about light, thermal/solar heat gain etc.etc..but I...
Dear Saxena ji,
Thank you for inquiry.
West facing windows can be a big source of heat, first measure which you...
It’s business as usual
This refers to the cover story, “Future compromised” (July 1-15, 2012). International regimes, from parties to the Rio+20 at one end of the spectrum to the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the other, remain tied to their positions which undermines attempts towards a collaborative effort. Nations are still competing with each other. While China and India want to secure their right to development, the US and Europe wish to see the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities flunked. This is the usual polemics as rightly suggested in the article. Countries fundamentally look out for their own interests, a phenomenon that has not changed since the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Environmental problems are often stacked against other national interests such as GDP, debt service, infrastructure, capital accounts and political harmony. One of the greatest successes of the global environmental cooperation, the Montreal Protocol, was largely a product of briefly aligned national interests, rather than any urgent international belief that the world would be a better place if everyone was protected from the degrading effects of ozone depletion.
As long as the environment remains a negotiable item for individual nations, any forum on sustainable development will remain an arena for negotiators to angle for the best outcome for their governments and corporations.
I wish to add a few points to the article “Green Revolution’s hidden toll” (June 1-15, 2012). In my book “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture in the perspective of Climate Change, I have discussed the risks of green revolution technologies. India is producing crops in excess of demand by 50 per cent and in turn wasting natural resources. This level of production can be achieved without chemical inputs. Innovative farmers across the country have proven this. But our leaders are supporting chemical input technologies to help MNCs. In fact, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research is joining hands with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid-Tropics, a US-based mouthpiece of MNCs.
S Jeevananda Reddy
Outsiders in own country
This refers to the interview of B D Sharma (‘Independent India worse for tribals’, June 1-15, 2012). Tribals like Gonds and Warlis are the natives of this country, we are the outsiders. Asian continent was once called Gondwanaland. So how can independent India encroach their land? They have a different culture like the Red Indians of the US and the Zulus of South Africa. It is wrong to believe they are not civilised. They are custodians of nature. Let’s leave them alone and first solve the problems in our cities.
Even after 65 years of Independence economic, social and religious conflicts affect the tribal community. The government intends to snatch away their centuries-old rights over forestland and produce in the name of development. How can there be true democracy when most of the tribal people are evicted from their land and live below poverty line in a highly stratified society? It is time states take concrete steps to address tribal issues and facilitate effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act so that the tribal people are able to live honourably.
K R Srinivasan
B D Sharma is an authority on tribal affairs and has been fighting for the tribal population. But the claim that if tribals get their rights, they would not help Maoists is difficult to digest. The main hurdle in solving the Maoist problem is ideology. People like Sharma could devise better strategies to surmount it.
It is sad to note the anguish of the Public Accounts Committee on the failure of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to realise the 2002 target of 33 per cent tree cover in the nation by 2012 (‘Environment ministry rapped’, May 16-31, 2012). At present, the tree cover of India stands at 21.05 per cent. Whatever may be the target, the green cover will remain static or worsen in the coming days due to land unavailability. The projected land for afforestation is hilly wasteland in arid regions. Such afforestation efforts face widespread opposition by residents who use the land for cattle grazing. What’s more, achievement of afforestation targets on wasteland is mostly on paper.
A better way is to raise trees that are suitable for drier regions and grow them in deep pits or trenches with enough soil to hold water during the rains and lessen chances of being grazed. Species like Indian beech (Pongamia pinnata), Indian elm (Holoptelea integrifolia), tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), amaltas (Cassia fistula), chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), sal (Shorea robusta), sugar-pineapple tree (Annona squamosa) and east Indian satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia) can help sustain and increase the tree cover.
B M T Rajeev
It is good to see that the Central Institute for Cotton Research is making efforts to revive the Indian cotton varieties (‘Desi cotton to the rescue’, July 1-15, 2012). For several years, farmers and agricultural scientists in the country have been insisting that in dry regions like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, the yield of Bt cotton is almost equal to that of the indigenous varieties. Finally their voice is being heard.
Tomatoes grow in bras
While reading the article “Tomato decoded” (July 1-15, 2012), I recalled a bizarre story. A man in New Zealand has a unique way of growing tomatoes hydroponically (using mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil) in discarded brassieres. The stitching and elastic material of bra cups ensure the tomatoes are well held and the soft fabrics protect the fruit’s skin from chapping. Three days in white bra followed by two days in a black bra ripen the crop perfectly.
This refers to the article, “Confusing signal” (June 16-30, 2012). Under the digitisation programme, TVs have to be attached with set-top boxes that consume as much energy as a refrigerator, which will lead to electricity bills shooting up. Cable connections provide access to a number of channels at a reasonable cost but with a digital connection, the price of the same number of channels skyrockets. Few people would be interested in spending extra bucks for a better TV viewing experience.
Instead of digitisation of cable TV network, government could have plugged the loopholes in the television and cable industry by enforcing strict guidelines to ensure constant monitoring.
Durgapur, West Bengal
This refers to the article, “Eat at your own risk” (April 1-15, 2012). Fast food industry has transformed the eating habits of the people in the country. The young generation, especially, is heavily dependent on easily available fast food that offers no health benefits.
Almost all varieties of junk food like burgers, pizzas are made from white wheat flour or maida, which is low in fiber content. These could result in further rise in diabetes cases in a population already reeling under the ill effects of the metabolic disorder. Traditional Indian snacks like bedmi poori served with potato curry and idli with coconut chutney have more food value in terms of fiber, mineral content and proteins. They could be the healthy alternatives for snacks.