Published: Wednesday 15 August 2001


CBSE on wrong path

I fully agree with T Ramakrishna Rao's views about the cbse decision on dissection of animals, which will encourage misguided animal activist groups to press for similar ban in colleges and universities ( Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 3, June 30).

This is indeed a situation of utmost concern for me as a student of zoology. It is very important to physically cut open animals to understand its anatomy and abnormalities. At least some of us will join different bio-medical fields, which need experience in dissection and it is better to start this in school. In the days to come, I hope that cbse will understand the reality and revoke its decision....

Kolaghat pollution

The largest thermal power-generating unit in Asia turns out to be a nightmarish experience for the vast multitude residing in and around the Kolaghat township. The continuous emitting of ash, from the six chimneys of the power units, has made life hell for the residents who suffer from a number of breathing problems. During the last decade, the residents, experts and the ngo s have urged authorities to ensure remedial measures, but in vain.

The district administration, while grappling with the problem of fly ash, has strictly restricted indiscriminate disposal of the ash in Kolaghat. Yet the thermal unit authority, flouting all norms, indulges in dumping of the ash in ponds, marshy lands and agricultural fields. Though the thermal power units had agreed to cover the ash with soil to prevent them from being blown into residential area; the local contractors engaged in clearing the ash are least concerned with public health.

Nearly 5,000 metric tonne of ash emanate from the power units every day. The suffocation problem is worst during the summer....

Recharging REVA

It is enticing to note that an Indian company has developed an electronic car ( Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 3, June 30). However, long recharging time is a hindrance to the popularisation of this technology. As a solution, it is better to make use of a system similar to the distribution of lpg cylinders. Here the user can have a new battery initially from the charging station, a gasoline station, for a deposit and exchange his exhausted battery with a new one whenever he runs out of charge....

Uranium mining

In Rajnandgoan district of Chhattisgarh, the atomic molecular department has started intensive mining. The mining is basically to extract uranium for nuclear power and for the purpose of generating energy.

The health hazards of uranium mining and the impact of its by-products are immense. The government has not only denied this information to the public but also no exact information of its preliminary stages such as survey, identification of the area, etc. were provided to the people. It is a gross violation of the human rights of the common masses of this area.

We have also information of similar mining activities in Raigarh, Mahasamund, Surguja districts of the state. According to the local people, from one pocket of Raigarh, in Baramkela block; mining has been taking place for the last two years, and the local people have no idea of it. Here the local villagers have been provided with a measure scale to check the radiation.

Some newspaper reports say the mined uranium is being smuggled to China and other northern neighbourhood countries....

Productive fertilisers

We wish to share the findings of our study on fertilisers. Use of fertilisers to improve crop production has been in practice all over the world despite the fact that it affects the natural fertility of soil and the run-off and effluent of fertiliser factories cause water pollution.

It is also established that most of the synthetic fertilisers are composed of nutrients and discharge of such effluent into the aquatic body hastens eutrophication. We made an attempt to know whether the fertiliser effluent is useful for irrigation purposes. We have looked into this in controlled experimental conditions using morphological that is growth and germination, physiological and biological parameters. Our results indicate that the productivity in terms of chlorophyll and carbohydrate content increased in the diluted effluent.

However, there was differential pattern of protein content with respect to various concentrations of effluent. We have compelling evidence that fertiliser effluent with some combinations would not only help enhance productivity but also the management....

Prefer soya milk

This is with reference to your article on the protest staged by People for the ethical treatment of animals ( peta ) against an industry that peddles cruelty in the form of unhealthy cow's milk -- the number one source of allergies in kids ( Down To Earth , Vol 10, No 3, June 30). There are now many research studies linking dairy consumption to colic, chronic ear infections, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (juvenile-onset diabetes), acne, obesity, flatulence, diarrhoea, mucus and a variety of other ailments no one had suspected were associated with dairy products before.

Soya milk is popular overseas and is a healthy, tasty drink India could encourage, especially given that we export most of our soya beans. Rice and nut milks are also nutritious and do not have any harmful effects on children....

Breeding colony

In 1995 when I went to Adina reserve forest I discovered a small breeding colony of Asian openbills ( Anastomus oscitans ). The next year I found the bird population increased during the breeding season. From 1997 to 2000 the population increased from 1,250 to 2,200 plus and has become a well-established colony. The park, a captive breeding centre of the West Bengal forest department, is an excellent bird watching place situated 20 km north of Malda town. It is an artificial forest of sal ( shorea robusta ), teak ( tectona grandis ) and eucalyptus trees. Locally famous as Adina deer park for spotted deer ( axis axis ), it has an area of 69.6 hectares consisting of ponds, ditches and several small water bodies and is surrounded by agricultural fields. In this region the openbills starts breeding in the month of May/June and departs in the month of December/January....

Dry chicken

Apropos letter ( Down To Earth , Vol 9, No 22, April 15) on increasing the livestock production and poultry population for increased number of eggs and chicken meat to counter drought and famine conditions. I wonder as to how eggs and chicken are going to help in minimising the effect of drought and famine.

Eggs and chicken are subject to around 13 and 20 diseases respectively. A few years back, millions of poultry were destroyed in uk because of salmonella problem. In 1997, Hong Kong destroyed about 1.2 million hens due to bird flu. In Tamil Nadu, nearly 2.7 million eggs were destroyed after food poisoning of school children. No one knows as to what type of chicken and eggs are being consumed. Moreover, one egg a day increases cholesterol by 12 per cent.

In drought and famine affected area, people use vegetables stored during pleasant weather and ward off the problems to a great extent. I think that this is the best. Moreover, birds require large quantity of water and how would this be available during drought....

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.