Hanging in mid air
Sir — The headline, “Astro-naughty: Space-age chase for Sunita’s pilot” (Feb 7), and the photograph with the report were baffling, and in bad taste. In the photo, the faces of Sunita Williams, the American astronaut of Indian origin, and the space-shuttle pilot, William Oefelein, were circled. A casual glance at it and the headline would make the reader think that there was a liaison between the two. But Williams had no part to play in the report. Was her name dragged in to establish the ‘Indian’ connection in the foreign story'
Soma Datta, Siliguri
Hardly a watershed
Sir — The row over the allocation of the Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry has at long last been sorted out by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (“One smiles, other simmers”, Feb 6). The people of Tamil Nadu are pleased that their state has been granted 419 thousand million cubic feet of water, while Karnataka has got 270 tmc ft. But the Tamils ought to be wary of the fact that Karnataka might reject the award, as it had done in 1991. Even if the state does not take this extreme measure, it might still appeal to higher authorities and seek innumerable adjournments. The deputy chief minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa, has already told the state assembly that a review would be sought. In this scenario, it is likely that some more time will be lost till Tamil Nadu gets the allotted share of water. Whatever happens, those who will suffer the most are obviously the poor farmers of both the states. The wrangling politicians of the two states should consider the interests of the farmers for a change and try to settle the issue amicably.
K. Venkataraman, Mumbai
Sir — The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s long-awaited award has, as expected, disgruntled Karnataka yet again. This dispute will never be solved to the satisfaction of all the parties, simply because the available water of the Cauvery is insufficient to meet the demands of the states concerned. The solution perhaps lies in conserving flood water, which is wasted every year when the Cauvery overflows its banks during the monsoons. Large lakes can be dug to collect the excess water, which can then be used in the dry season for irrigation.
C.V.K. Moorthy, Bangalore
Sir — It is unfortunate that the verdict delivered by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, coming as it does after 17 years of deliberation, evaluation of technical data and consultation with all the parties, still remains inconclusive (“Flow chart”, Feb 7). As pointed out in the editorial, two of the four bickering states are “already intent on seeking a review of the decision”. However, the states should acknowledge that the award is as reasonable as they could hope for. But it can only be implemented if the politicians stop using the dispute to gain political mileage.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — It is shameful that normal life in Bangalore, the hub of the resurgent IT economy of India, threatened to come to a standstill after the Cauvery award was declared (“Violence shadow on eve of air show”, Feb 6). Thankfully, the situation did not escalate into a riot, as had happened in 1991, when the interim award was declared. The reactionary behaviour of the city does not speak too highly of the much-celebrated professional attitude of the Bangaloreans.
R. Kumar, Calcutta