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Letters

Letters

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1994
Don't trundle into oblivion The West Bengal state transport minister declared on August 20, 1992, that tramcars would be phased out from Calcutta due to enormous financial losses which the government could no longer subsidise. The tramcars, he said, would be substituted by buses. This decision does not appear to be reasonable because 5 lakh people still use tramcars. If these passengers are diverted to single-decker buses, the number of buses required will be 5 times more, causing greater air pollution and congestion.

Letters

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1994
Slaughter, too, has its standards The suggestion made by N S Ramaswamy, former chairperson of the Animal Welfare Board, that slaughterhouses be shifted to wastelands in rural areas, has been endorsed in the article Caught by the horns (June 15, 1994). Lack of water is a major criteria in determining so-called "wastelands". If so, how will the huge water requirements for cattle be met?

Letters

Issue Date: Sep 15, 1994
Civeting rejoinder This is in response to the letter by B K Verma (June 30, 1994) on my article on the Malabar civet (April 30, 1994). I had said that one of the "reported" uses of civet-musk, among several others, is as an aphrodisiac. In saying this, I am neither promoting nor decrying its use. Would Verma support the use of the musk if its "reported" use was to decrease virility?

Letters

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1994
Watering down the truth The statement by P K Thungon, minister of state for water resources and urban development, that groundwater is either underutilised or overexploited (April 30, 1994), is a surprising one. In fact, in most states groundwater has been so overexploited that many areas have been declared "dark zones". In others, sweet water has given way to saline/brackish water.

Letters

Issue Date: Aug 15, 1994
Bogeying the birds The news item Dashes of Fire (April 15, 1994) wrongly states that the days of the scarecrow are over. Perhaps a misunderstanding of the term "scarecrow" leads your correspondent to state that the house crow accounts for 85 per cent damage to the sunflower crop in Punjab. A general term for effigies and dummies used to scare birds, scarecrows are very much in vogue. Farmers have become more innovative: for example, in some parts of Rajasthan, farmers hang old audio cassette tapes or even strips of plastic bags around the fields.

Letters

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1994
Slaughter defined as 'farming' Of late, the media has been hollering about the cruelties perpetrated on animals and the conditions of slaughterhouses in the country. However, there is much more to the matter than meets the eye. Barring exceptions such as Maneka Gandhi and other likeminded animal rights activists, campaigns such as these are used by the meat industry as a justification to set up larger, more modern and mechanised slaughterhouses.

Letters

Issue Date: Jul 15, 1994
It's not over yet With reference to our watershed development project in the article Villagers unite to conserve resources (February 15, 1994), we feel it is an overstatement to call Gawandwadi a "self sufficient" village. By constructing an earthen dam, the villagers have merely created a water source. They are yet to ensure equitable distribution of the stored water and optimise its use to increase food production. There is still a long way to go.

Letters

Issue Date: Jun 30, 1994
Blame it on the libido The last thing an overpopulated world -- least of all India -- needs is an aphrodisiac. Conservationists today stress the need to educate laypersons about the foolish belief that animal parts are good for virility.

Letters

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1994
The quality of mercy We support the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Bill, passed this March, which bans the slaughter of cows, calves and bulls, and hope that it is transformed into an Act enabling strict implementation at the earliest.

Letters

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
Community accounting I I enjoyed reading the article Community Enterprise Unlimited (March 15, 1994). I also had the opportunity of listening to Sixto K Roxas and fully subscribe to his view that the "business" approach to life and work is destroying every basic ideology, and the purpose of life and living. Traditional cultures, communities, human dignity, rural livelihood systems and eco-systems are being destroyed by profit-maximising "business" enterprises all over the world.
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