Published: Sunday 31 October 1999

For a better tomorrow

I am a fifth standard student of Delhi Public School, Noida. I eagerly wait for every issue of Gobar Times , the children's supplement of Down To Earth. The articles are interesting and deal with the degradation of our environment. I am too young, but when I see educated people who do not understand the importance of the environment, I feel very upset. They only have plans for earning more money but no concern for the environment. I do not know how long it will take them to understand that if they work for a cleaner environment, they will have a longer life-span....

Monkey menace

The article 'Monkey business' ( Down To Earth, Vol 8, No 7; August 31) is timely because today many urban centres are beginning to grapple with the menace of monkeys. Hordes of these creatures descend on localities and harass the residents by foraging in gardens and plucking all that is edible. Some of the bolder ones attack children and old people. Hungry monkeys are also known to have entered houses and raided refrigerators.

Iqbal Malik's suggestions are good but the only problems are improper implementation due to a lack of interest on the part of the decision-makers and lack of funds. This issue has not been given adequate importance and a few civic employees make half-hearted attempts to trap these monkeys and let them off outside the town limits. These monkeys promptly return as they know where their food lies. This appears to be the pattern when monkeys are relocated in neighbouring forests. The monkeys have abandoned the difficult task of gathering food from the forests and rely more on the urban centres where food is easily available.

Relocating monkeys in forests, their natural habitat, after being screened for diseases and after studying the existing wildlife is the only long-term solution for countering monkey trouble. In view of the burgeoning growth in their urban population, it is time the problem is dealt with seriously...

Dismantling dams

In a move to restore the nation's rivers, the us began dismantling the 7.2-metre (m)-high and 85 m wide Edwards dam on Maine's Kennebec river in the first week of July. This move was meant to encourage the removal of other dams whose environmental costs outweigh their benefits.

The removal will not only open the river for recreation, but more importantly, nine species of Atlantic fish will have access to their traditional spawning grounds. The decision to dismantle the dam was a result of sustained pressure from several non-government organisations ( ngo s) such as American Rivers and Trout Unlimited, who were backed by a number of independent scientific studies on the ill-effects of the dam.

The us administration is favourably disposed to the removal of the dam, but its biggest test lies ahead. Many fish biologists say that the salmon will never recover unless the us Congress agrees to dismantle four large dams on the river.

What has happened in the us should encourage ngo s who have been working against the construction of dams which not only endanger marine life but inundate large forest areas. The problem of resettlement of the displaced people, in most cases, needs to be adequately dealt with....


In the debate 'Labour vs pollution' ( Down To Earth , Vol 8, No 10; October 15), the designations of the participants are incorrect. The correct designations are as follows: Dunu Roy of The Other Media; Biplab Dasgupta, cpi (m) leader and academician; S Muralidhar, Supreme Court advocate, and Mohammad Talib, professor at the Jamia Milia Islamia. Also, the caption on page 5 in the same issue is factually incorrect. The errors are regretted....


In the advertisement ( Down To Earth, Vol 8, No 8; September 15), issued by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board with regard to the Silver Jubilee Seminar on Transition from Carbon to Non-Carbon energy: Alternative Energy path in the 21st century to be held in Calcutta on 15th January 2000. One of the issues for the seminar has been published as the international changes for non-carbon energy age. It should read institutional changes for non-Carbon energy age....

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