If were the Minister for Water Resources of a state in India

26/08/2016

If were the Minister for Water Resources of a state in India, I would:

a.Link the rivers in the state with each other and with lakes

b.Order removal of all karuvelam and other trees from all lakes

c.Deepen the lakes

d.Allow people to take soil newly deposited by the streams , thus dredging without any expenses for the government/panchayat

e.Remove all obstacles for rainwater draining in the lakes

f.Remove all restrictions in putting up bore wells as the water level will come up with lakes holding more water and for longer time with deepening of the same

g.Will remove limits/restrictions on putting up drip irrigation facilities

h.will set up research stations and encourage private research stations for research on refining technology to make artificial rain with a view to bring down the cost

i.Will set up artificial rain making facilities in all the districts

j.Will encourage studies on locating pure water along the sea coast, as it is believed that at a certain depth, pure water exists along the coast

k.Will set up research institutes on evolving sea salt resistant crops and take sea water into the land for irrigating salt resistant crops

l.Will set up research institutes to study the quantum of water prevented by trees from recharging the ground water, to understand how many more trees are to be planted or whether we have more trees than required

m.Set up desalination plants along the sea coast

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Desilting lakes and rivers

13/12/2015

Every year silt is deposited in the lakes and rivers. As the silt level increases  the quantum water the lakes and rivers hold decreases. This will naturally lead to floods if the rain is heavy. In the past, farmers and others used to remove soil from the lakes for use in fields and the lakes were  desilted without any effort  or expenses from the government. Now there are avoidable restrictions on removing silt from the lakes.  If restrictions are removed or reduced, many brick kilns will deepen the lakes enabling the lakes to hold more water, thus minimizing /preventing floods and providing more water for irrigation. As regards rivers, sand is deposited in the lakes by the water coming into the rivers. There are more restrictions on removal of sand from rivers.  Government should consider removing these restrictions or   selling the silt and sand to the consumers without any hassle.


Integrating old system with the modern government machinery

07/09/2015

The old system of village elders dispensing justice should be integrated with the present day judiciary by introducing jury system. Similarly the services of village elders in the matter of administration of the village should be integrated with the current village administrative system by appointing honorary village munsifs(village administrative officers) and kanakkapillais who used to do the surveying work. The local people should be used extensively in maintaining law and order. Home Guards and Honorary Police officials should form part of the local Police. Village elders should also be involved in maintaining water bodies, augmenting supplies by judically draining rainwater into the water bodies like lakes and rivers, and releasing water for irrigation. People should be actively associated with new projects like production and supply of biogas on cooperative basis, generation of electricity from wastes etc. In short village people and elders should be associated with the activities of the government right from the planning stage. Partly, this will mean more and wider powers for the village panchayats.


Food Security-expansion of irrigation

03/09/2014

Total world production of cereals increased from 2353 million MT in 2007 to 2566 million MT in 2012 i.e by 9.1% in 5 years while the population during this period went up by around 6% only. Thus the per capita availability has gone up. What is more important is that in the food deficit Africa the growth rates of food prouction are higher than the world average growth rates.In Africa the increase in cereal production is 25.2% and in roots and tubers 26.4%. Similarly there is considerable increase of around 15% in production of vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and milk. To sustain this increase, expansion of irrigation is important. Construction of dams, lakes, digging of canals, diversion of rivers should be given priority. Simultaneously micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler irrigation should also be undertaken.

The current per capita production of cereals at 350 kg per year is more than sufficient. The surplus will become more pronounced if feeding animals with cereals is reduced and fodder production is increased.

Enough food grains are produced. Giving buying power to the people will ensure food security.


India – 2014 Elections

19/04/2014

Elections to the Indian Parliament are taking place in various parts of the country.The BJP is blaming Congress and Congress is blaming BJP for the ills of the country. The fact is that both the parties while in the government have done what they thought was good for the country.Both of these parties however have failed to grasp that it is not the policies alone which improve the economy. It is the implementation that is very important. For example the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme could have lead to production of about 400 million tonnes of cereals and made the country surplus in food grains by deepening existing lakes, by digging new lakes, linking lakes with lakes and lakes with rivers. But there are serious allegations that the scheme provides salaries to people but no significant work is done. This is because the people do not work hard and full time. If a country is to progress, its people should be sincere, honest , hard working and committed to the work they are doing. But in India people are not so. If the country is to progress, the people have to change, become honest,hardworking..

There are allegations of corruption among political leaders. The leaders are forced by people to spend a lot of money for getting elected to Parliament/Legislative assemblies. This leads to political corruption.

People expect undeserved assistance from the government. This leads to bureaucratic corruption.

It is thus clear that the ills of the country are due to the people- common people. The first thing that is to be done is to inculcate good values and discipline in the people. Changes of governments and policies alone may not make much difference to the economy of the country unless the policies have a component to compel people to be honest and hardworking.


INTERNAL DEBT and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

20/03/2014

EXTRACTS FROM MANUSCRIPT, “WHAT AILS INDIAN ECONOMY”

While India has incurred more foreign debt than is required, it has contracted less domestic debt than is required to meet the legitimate development needs. According to the Reference Manual, “India 1998”, the total domestic debt in 1997 is Rs. 334914 crores which works out to about Rs.3500/- per person. (per capita foreign debt is Rs.4300/-)

Most of the developed countries have much larger per capita domestic loan than India whereas in India, external debt is higher than internal debt…….

……thee is absolutely no valid reason for not incurring more debt to Reserve Bank of India ( this is same as printing currency notes) to meet the developmental needs. The total, both domestic and foreign debt per capita comes to only about Rs.8000/-. The total debt of USA is over $ 5 trillian( $500000crores or Rs.22000000crores)(in 2004 over US$ 11 trillion) and the per capita debt is over $20000 or Rs.860000(approximate) which is about 100 times that of India. Japaese Government’s debt is US$4 trillion-$400000 crores or Rs.17500000 crore. The per capita debt is Rs.15,00,000 which is about 180 times that of India. In the case of most of the developed countries the per capita debt is much higher than in India. The countries could develop only because of the high debt and the fact that they wanted to rely on themselves……….. since Nehru’s time…the elite, intellectuals, economists, administrators etc. justify their inaction/indiffdrnce to the needs of the people, by saying that India does not have resources to undertake large projects and hence the problems of the people could not be solved.

One of the two major reasons for the economic backwardness of the country is the theory…….that India did not have resources.(the other one was that India was over populated…..these leaders did not understand that manpower is the main resource. Instead of utilizing the manpower they went about taking of reducing population growth by introducing family planning programme even as early as 1950s when the density of the population was even lower than that of many European countries.

The secod resource is land. India has sufficient cultivable land even today-i.e. even when the population has increased and the government had encroached upon fertile land for non-productive purposes..

The third resource is money. The leaders did not understand that money at that time was coins and currency notes.(In 2000s it is cheques, credit cards besides currency notes.) While coins are expensive to mint,currency notes could be printed easily by the Reserve Bank of india and the government could have borrowed from the Reserve Bank…….

Even after more than 50 years of independence,there are villages which do not have lakes and which they need and where there is possibility for lakes. Even in the 1990s/2000s, there is need and of course, scope , for thousands of canals of hundreds of kilometres etc. For these works,what is required is just simple tools which the village artisans can make,man power and cattle energy,which the country has in abundance and also local-Indian currency to which the government has unlimited access. There is no need for the government to sign Memorandum of Understanding with Reserve Bank of India on limiting deficit financing. The monetary and other policies of the government are to be decided by the elected representatives of the people and not by officials of Reserve Bank of Indian who are not answerable to the people.


Agriculture- Bangladesh performs better than India

12/10/2013

According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.

Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.

Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.

Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .

Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.

India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.