With reference to the report Down the drain (October 5), pollution of rivers is a socio-economic problem. Thus, technology-intensive plans alone, for cleaning up the same are likely to go to waste. It’s essential to involve all those who have a stake in the benefits. People living on river banks could probably devise better solutions than some scientists. Also, low-cost solutions for sewage treatment may be opted for rather than costly, energy-intensive technologies.
Mahendra Pandey, via email
Saving a sinking state
With reference to the editorial Manipur still a part of India (Our Take, October 6), the growing disparities in the state are troubling. Those living in the valley command an overwhelming majority, as compared to the people up in the hills who have been reduced to a marginalised minority despite occupying a larger area of land. So, in a situation where the majority is apathetic about its own land, how can the relatively disadvantaged tribal communities hope to save the state? This is the reason why most of the tribal communities are fighting for separate administrative units. They only wish to be an integral part of the progress that has been denied to them so far.
Leivang T. Ngaihte, Delhi
KumKum Dasgupta’s article A state in disrepair (October 5) should be an eye-opener for our politicians, be it from the UPA or NDA, who respond only when there’s a flare-up. The insurgency in the North-east has been at a low ebb for some time, yet successive governments have failed to bring about development to wean the masses away from militancy. This will bring peace and tranquility in the region, and also draw people into the national mainstream. The government should realise that people in the North-east are as much entitled to the fruits of development as people from any other part of the country.
Krsna Karna, Patna
Practise before you preach
This has reference to the editorial It’s private business (The Pundit, October 6), if most CEOs’ salaries are unjustified, then what about those of our incompetent MPs, ministers and MLAs? CEOs are paid for what they are delivering and, unlike most of our politicians, are not enjoying taxpayers’ money without any accountability. Any issue related to their salary is, in turn, at the discretion of the respective board or directors who, in turn, occupy their posts by dint of their qualifications and performance alone — not by money and muscle power. Let the government concentrate on its own austerity drive before it is qualified enough to dictate to others.
Ravi Padmanabhan, via email
Not the complete picture
RK Pachauri in Lost in statistics (Green Patch, October 6) makes a valid point. The loss of incomes, employment, output and property, because of natural calamities, ought to be factored into GDP estimates. Based on this criteria, India’s GDP is bound to be much lower than what’s projected by official statistics. None of the development activities in India undertaken by the government factors in this much-neglected reality.
Dev Gulati, via email
Tread softly to leave a footprint
Africa presents great potential for Indian businesses, as argued by Samar Halarnkar in Old ties, new hopes (Maha Bharat, October 5). For decades, African countries have been exposed to Indian trading communities, which, while having creditable entrepreneurial skills, aren’t always known for their scrupulous business practices. India and Africa share a colonial past, and some humility can win us the opportunities we so desire.
Vinod Haritwal, Jaipur