An open letter to the prime minister
We congratulate you on completion of one year term marked with success. You deserve all praise
2) As an administrator at the grass roots Level I am competent to show you the road you have to tread. And the steps you have to take faultlessly.
INDIA AN ADVANCING DESERT DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Dr. P. Pandian I.A.S (Retd)
3) Edmund Burks the great Orator legislator of England had great concern for the agriculturists of India. In his famous speech on the impeachment of Warrenhastings, Burke pays rich tributes to the ingenuity of the local rulers of India who had constructed a large number of rain fed tanks and lakes called Kanmois. He champions the causes of the agriculturists who have taken to it as a gamble in monsoon. Their only source of irrigation is those man made Kanmois. Due to faulty administration, Warrenhastings had failed to desilt these tanks in time. Thus most of them had reduced storage capacity, the bunds and sluices fell in disrepair. Thus we see our ancestoral properties created by the good olden benevolent rulers for the benefit of the common weal, began to deteriorate right from the British Rule. The process continues with snow balling effect.
4) Due to unscrupulour tapping of natural resources and tampering with the ecological balance, India is fast turning into a desert. A stage may come, if this trend goes on unchecked that it will be beyond retrieval. Therefore it is most incumbent on us that we initiate most urgent steps that will arrest these tendencies. Steps taken should not only arrest this regression but also result in the revival of the lost vitality. Politicians have adnauseum shouted from steeple tops at the hights of their voice that we should stop tinkering with the natural resources. But actually the more they are vociferous, the more they are complacent and hoodwinking these dastardly acts by vandals who have a political clout. So we are faced with the situation when you are forced to take drastic action by way of promulgating ordinances by the Central Government.
The ordinances will be of two kinds
5) Preventive and the other positive. Before going to the types of ordinances to be promulgated, let us enumerate briefly the faulty steps we have taken which have accelerated the desert advancing syndrome.
a) Indiscriminate felling of trees and destruction of forest wealth.
b) Unbridled molestation of underground water tables.
c) The failure to provide for rain water to seep in to the sub soil.
d) Large scale erosion and corrosion the top soil wealth.
e) Indiscriminate encroachments in water spread areas, catchment areas of natural springs, manmade tanks, ponds and reservoirs.
The Ordinances should be issued immediately and given top most priority in implementing their intentions.
A. Preventive Ordinances:
1. A blanket ban on sinking of borewells below further down the 10 feet depth of the water table.
2. Sealing away all existing bores beyond 10 feet depth of the water table.
3. Drastic contingent plan to remove all encroachments on the tanks, rivers, lakes and other water spread areas and irrigation sources.
4. Preventing intrusion of sea water into the potable water table.
B. Positive Ordinaces:
1. Construction of percolation ponds along the contours of rivers with a view to help seeping of the rain water into sub soil.
2. Soil conservation measures,
3. Soil reclamation measures through benching, contour bunding and prevention of erosion and corrosion and land slips.
4. Insisting a pre condition for the local authorites to prescribe rules with a view to conserve rain water. The provision of sumps be low the buildings and to insist on plans to drain the water to per collate around the wells.
6) In all new town development plans to insist on provision of sump wells on either side of the roads at equidistance of say 100 meters, with a view to allow rain water to collect into sump in order to sink into the soil.
7) Large scale planting of trees. This should be in consonance to the fertility of the soil. If the A Register of revenue records is referred to, the natural flora of the village will be known. India itself is known as NavalaM Tivu, that means the entire sub continent was dotted with Jamun Plum groves. For every temple has got a totem tree. If we take into account all the totem tree in all the temples of South India we will be listing a representative variety of all the flora necessary for human civilization. It will be a small compendium on Botany of Indian Species. So the right steps will be to revive and regenerate all the botanical varieties of totem trees in the temples spread over through out the length and breadth of India. If we initate these steps on a war footing, we can save, India from becoming a desert.
8) In the above we have envisages corrective and preventive measures. In order that the above strategies be successful, we need a completely new out look in the Industrial Sector which will be environment friendly. Though there are adequate safeguards by way of controls, most of the present day modern industries are found to be inimical towards environment. The effluvia and effluents from the industries are hazardous in nature and when they are let out into the drinking water source they are agents for many maladies of today. To cite a few examples, the effluvia from distilleries and other chemical factories are not at all treated properly and even the so called modern treatment plants are not effective or they are not put to the optimum use in recycling the water.
9) The effluents from Cement factories which set off huge columns of dust and smoke within the vicinity of two to Three Kilo Metre radius, suffocate the flora. Agriculture in these area becomes a failure. In the long run the texture of the soil also changes and makes it highly unproductive. Therefore very strict enforcement of the Safety precautions and Pollution Control precautions should be strictly enforced. Violation of these license conditions should be punishable under the Penal Code.
10) For all vehicles fossil fuel, emission test should be conducted and certified and certified to be road worthy, only if the emission is within the tolerable limit. There was all lot of talk about the proposed legislation in this regard but it died out creating a lot of heat but no light.
11) Last but not least, we should go in for tapping the renewable source of energy. We must change our attitude and turn towards reaping a very rich harvest, from the inexhaustible sources of wind power, solar power from waves etc.
12) The water management plays a very significant role. Most of the waste, if you throw into garbage, contain so many harmful things. When left to themselves, nature may take hundreds of years to recycle them. Even the waste from houses, like Plastic, Glasses, Metals and even Chemicals pose a ery great hazard to the environment and the health of the population. Therefore civic bodies have to supply or make provisions in each street separate dust bins for different kinds of waste products like Plastic, Vegetable garbage, Metal, Glass etc. initially they can introduce a rectangular dustbin with 4 compartments one for Plastic, one for Glass and Metal the third for Vegetable garbage and the last one for others.
(SD) Dr. P. Pandian I.A.S (Retd)