Dec 18 2000
0042 hrs IST
The drought of reason
THE BLAME for the extraordinary water shortage in almost all parts of north, west and central India lies partly on mismanagement of water by local government and on NGOs like Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Even the Supreme Court realised the importance of dams and gave directions for their construction. Just think of the plight of an engineer who dared criticise the judgement of the honourable courts so viciously — or if he had stalled construction on some pretext for such a long time.
NBA seems to lie in an entirely different league. NGOs like it are totally adamant and now they are even bringing in high profile `star’ activists — persons with no understanding of the basic issues, let alone of the economics or engineering of it.
The other culprits are financial institutions; they should have enforced better water management.
Mangal Mani Vyas
Chemistry by symposia
INDIA’S chemical industry must become technology intensive to sustain growth. It must shift to improved practices with a thrust on R&D and appropriate processes.
The solution lies in a technology breakthrough. But there is no evidence as yet of that occurring just yet. Behind that is the lack of depth and reach of the technology scenario here.
Several technologists talk eloquently, but that falls well short of implementing things on the shop floor. Mere knowledge or proposals lead nowhere.
Industry participation must be stepped up in seminars too since the need is to strengthen the technology base and the interaction between technologists and scientists. The lesson is that even if seminars take place, they need more serious involvement.
N S Venkataraman
Don’t give up now
SOMEONE or the other almost daily states that Telco is a truck manufacturer and that it cannot make a good car. Very often the company is advised to get out of car manufacturing.
But if we use similar logic for foreign makers of automobiles with petrol/diesel engine we shall find many interesting examples which merit similar advice.
Take the case of Honda which started as a two-wheeler company but is today one of the most respected passenger car manufacturer. Using the logic applied to Telco, Honda should manufacture only two-wheelers. Take even the case of General Motors; it too makes cars despite having a number of freight carriers models, including the giant GMC truck!
What must not be overlooked is that Telco had a good run with Sumo — which is almost a car. It did a fairly good job of that. The problems it is having with Indica now are not unsurmountable.
What the company needs is a capable team of managers who should have all the requisite authority to look after customer-reported problems to take remedial action.
This team should also examine component making sources since there are a lot of stories of duplicate spares doing the market. Ruthless action should be taken.
Indica ads also need to be revamped. They say `more saving per car’ — but what is the message? Is it that the car is cheaper, or is mileage its forte?
Ratan Tata should not give up. He has had to face many battles with Sumo and Safari. He must equip Telco to face the problems squarely.
P D Jain