Letters

 
Last Updated: Friday 10 July 2015

In his remembrance

I was deeply moved by the editorial 'Anil Agarwal -- 1947~2002' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 17, January 31, 2002). Never in my life have I come across a person like Anil who had such indomitable courage, perseverance and dedication for the cause of environment. He whole-heartedly endeavoured to prevent environmental degradation.

The following lines of the editorial aptly describe him: "His message was always evolving. Knowledge was his biggest passion and he never assumed that he had learnt all there was to know." The editorial mirrors the feelings of his innumerable admirers, for whom no one can take his place.

P S SUBRAHMANIAN
Vellore, Tamil Nadu

The editorial on Anil Agarwal brought tears to my eyes. Hats off to Anil -- builder of an organisation like Centre for Science and Environment (cse), and an activist who struggled for environmental causes despite suffering from cancer. Two aspects of the editorial are very interesting: one is the consolation that Anil knew before his death that he had created an institution. Secondly, the cse family would do its best to carry forward Anil's legacy.

SADANAND B KUMTA
Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The editorial on Anil Agarwal was very touching and apt. It would be difficult to fill the void left by Anil who had done so much work for the country in such a short time.

S SAHNI
New Delhi...

Pines in danger

The article 'Pining for more' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 18, February 15, 2002) is well written. It educates those who are unaware about the value of Himalayan forests -- how they played a crucial role in the growth and development of the country before the arrival of the Britishers. Moreover, it makes them more inquisitive about the 'pine culture'. After reading the article, I understood the reasons behind erosion and deforestation in the jungles of Himalayas.

Harish Pandey
hcpandey@rediffmail.com...

Catchy decisions

Apropos the article 'Net gain' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 16, January 15, 2002), I do not agree that the Madhya Pradesh government of its own free will allowed villagers around the Tawa reservoir to retain their fishing rights. The impossible became possible due to the support extended by many developmental organisations. Moreover, the harsh pre-conditions imposed for renewing the lease of the fisheries cooperative are not justified. These include a royalty that would be imposed on 20 per cent fish catch, which was earlier free. Others include appointment of the cooperative's advisor only after obtaining permission from the state government. Because of such stipulations the fisherfolk are bound to face the same difficulties they did before the cooperative was formed.

SUNIL GUPTA
Kesla, Madhya Pradesh...

Mind-blowing!

Recently I had the unfortunate experience of sighting dead turtles on the beach at Paradip port. Reports from wildlife experts indicate that in 2001, more than 1,400 Olive Ridley turtles met an untimely death. Most of them died due to the reckless operation of trawlers. It was a gruesome sight: dead turtles lying on the sand with stray dogs eating their flesh. The least we can do is to give these creatures a decent burial. For protecting these species, regular police patrolling should be done in areas where the turtles come for nesting.

D B N MURTHY
Bangalore, Karnataka...

Mind-blowing

Recently I had the unfortunate experience of sighting dead turtles on the beach at Paradip port. Reports from wildlife experts indicate that in 2001, more than 1,400 Olive Ridley turtles met an untimely death. Most of them died due to the reckless operation of trawlers. It was a gruesome sight: dead turtles lying on the sand with stray dogs eating their flesh. The least we can do is to give these creatures a decent burial. For protecting these species, regular police patrolling should be done in areas where the turtles come for nesting.

D B N MURTHY
Bangalore, Karnataka...

Threat from radiation

Studies by Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre for Earth Science Studies have traced very high levels of radiation near the Kanyakumari coast. This radiation is attributed to thorium found in monosite mine situated along the coast. The radiation levels are said to be very high. Furthermore, coastal residents, particularly the mine labourers, are unaware about them. Incidentally, numerous cancer cases have been reported from Kanyakumari. The mining companies ignore guidelines pertaining to the essential precautions that must be taken by labourers handling radioactive waste. Even the state pollution control board and health protection agencies are not bothered.

R S LAL MOHAN
Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu...

Clear-cut solutions

The article 'Dirt bags or detergents?' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 19, February 28, 2002) has rightly highlighted the misuse of phosphates in detergents. It is high time that crystalline soluble silicates replace phosphates, as these soapless detergents are increasingly being used in our country. Sodium silicate penta and nine hydrates are as effective as phosphates with no adverse effects normally associated with phosphates. The industry can easily substitute soluble and sodium silicate without any modification in the manufacturing process. However, they are reluctant to do so. The other deterrents include small-scale production of crystalline soluble silicates in our country.

S K SHARMA
New Delhi...

Charade of cleanliness

The article 'Dirt bags or detergents?' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 19, February 28, 2002) was a sort of jolt to a loyal Surf Excel user like me. Any reasonably aware consumer knows that soaps and detergents are necessary evils. But it is upsetting to know that the one you are using is the worst and the company manufacturing it is insensitive and ignorant about the adverse environmental effects. Under such circumstances one will be forced to discontinue the use of that brand. I hope many such users of the six detergent brands enlisted as having the highest levels of phosphates will shift to safer brands like Henko and Fena.

SUPRIYA SHAH
Ahmedabad, Gujarat...

Damning decision

With reference to the special report 'Going under' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 16, January 15, 2002), I agree that the government has decided to construct the Tehri dam at a controversial site, that too after neglecting the advice of experts. Any possible natural disaster such as an earthquake in future would not only ruin the dam but would result in extensive monetary and human loss. In my opinion, the government should have continued with minor hydrothermal projects along the course of Bhagirathi, Bhilangana and Alaknanda rivers. Such mini projects are cost effective and suitable to the Himalayan region.

MOHD. JAFARUDDIN
Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh...

Watery system

I highly appreciate the analysis 'The flush toilet is ecologically mindless' (Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 19, February 28, 2002). It rightly points out the high costs of human waste disposal system being used in the country. When the flush system was adopted in India nobody cared to understand its ecological cost to the nation in real terms. Even at present, nobody is ready to acknowledge it. Nor is there any inclination of using human waste as manure. It should be remembered that chemical fertilisers can never compete with organic manure in preserving soil fertility and augmenting agricultural production. In some countries people are asked to defecate in their fields to enrich soil with organic matter. It is obvious that such countries recognise the value of waste material. It is high time the 'powers-to-be' and scientists are goaded into understanding the harmful effects of the currently used system. They must evolve suitable strategies to save water that is rapidly becoming a scarce commodity.

VIDYA SAGAR
New Delhi...

Green organisation

Indian Agribusiness Systems Private Limited is the brainchild of a group of alumni from various premier institutions of the country like the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. It aims to provide information about the agricultural market and technologies to people across the country. For doing so, the company publishes a daily agricultural trade newspaper called Agriwatch and a Hindi newspaper called Agriwatch Farm Weekly . It also disseminates information through its website called www.agriwatch.com .

One of the main endeavours of the company is to promote awareness about the impacts of World Trade Organisation's policies on Indian farming. According to the company, farmers need to be educated on issues of pricing. This will help them fetch better returns for their produce. At present, the company is primarily targeting at the village panchayats (village councils).

SUNIL KHAIRNAR
sunil@agriwatch.com
...

Contribution to Down to Earth

Dear Editor Could we also contribute to Down to Earth. Waiting for your reply, (RC Sundriyal)...

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