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Blame it on borewells
This is with reference to the article by Mr Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, titled ``Drought, What Drought?’’ (ET, May 3). I am an educated farmer of 60 years experience and a foreign trained engineer. I submit that Mr Aiyar’s article argues the wrong premises.
In previous years of drought, water shortage did not appear too acute because Saurashtra did not have electrification in all the villages. Because of that, there were very few borewells. Those too did not need to go very deep, because sub-soil water was easily available. This year the situation is quite different.
Every village has been electrified. There is a profusion of borewells without any restriction of proximity to other borewells or their depth. This has resulted in over-drawing of water from the subsoil. Where open wells in all villages used to have water in the past they have been sucked dry. Not only the population of villages is suffering for want of water but even trees with their deep roots are drying up.
S B Pattani
Bhavnagar, May 4

A silent killer
It is unfortunate that the scourge of hepatitis which is afflicting millions of people in India is being neglected by the government. In the present scenario awareness about hepatitis and its consequences is limited to the fact that it causes jaundice and is not fatal which is not true. Way back in 1995 WHO had asked all the countries to include vaccination against hepatitis B in their immunisation plan and till date India has not implemented it. Though there has been a growing awareness about it through the efforts of pharmaceutical companies a lot still needs to be done.
Four crore Indians carry hepatitis B and can potentially infect others. It is a silent killer, which has gained momentous proportions in India. What is even more worrying is that every year 2,70,000 babies are infected with the hepatitis B virus at the time of birth. Nearly 2 crore Indians carry hepatitis C and again without being aware of it.
Yet India does not have a policy for universal vaccination of babies unlike 95 other countries. It is time the government woke up to the danger posed by hepatitis B.
Satish Dhaundiyal
Noida, May 11

Review the amendment
In terms of the Companies Amendment Bill vide clause 3 every private and public company is required to raise their paid-up capital to specified amounts. If any company fails to enhance the paid-up capital as required then such a company shall be deemed to be a `defunct company’ and its name shall be struck off from the register by the Registrar.
This will affect the rights of the creditors and other parties who have a claim against such companies. Such companies which do not comply with the requirements may be put in `liquidation’ instead of being made `defunct’ and `struck off’ so that claims of the creditors and others will be redressed. Hence, the amendment contemplated in Section 3 (iii) of the Companies Act requires reconsideration. Let not the members of Parliament simply nod their heads to the passing of the Bill.
S Vishwanathan
Delhi, April 9


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