Fact and fiction
* Central Water Commission chairman,Rajesh Kumar,had correctly said dams had reduced flooding in places such as Haridwar and Rishikesh (Dams controlled floods,says water panel chief,IE,June 25). It is common sense that this should be the case. Monsoon rain water is stored in dam reservoirs for energy generation. Overtaken by Uttarakhand by Pratap Bhanu Mehta (IE,June 28) correctly adds that we have not been able to create structures of authority whose judgement on dams reflects a scientific consensus. The debate on the role of dams features many voices,but none with the authority to be heard over the rest. It is my assertion that the current floods and the resultant damage was not man made,with the exception of the collapsed buildings on the banks of the Alaknanda,which were due to unregulated construction.
Subhash C. Baru
* This refers to Rethinking CBI (IE,June 29). Ever since the Supreme Courts remarks on the CBIs functioning,the government has been faced with the task of freeing the agency from external pressures. The most important thing to ensure is that the law ministry must not have the power to peruse the investigation reports or strategy of the CBI. If this is not ensured,it will seem as though the government continues to intend to fetter the agency despite any other reforms it might introduce. The CBI should be accountable to Parliament alone.
* This refers to PMs 2013 target: Rs 1.15 lakh crore infra projects (IE,June 29). Once more,the PM has announced the governments grand plans to spend on developing infrastructure. I have lost track of how many similar,confidence-building announcements this government has made. I doubt the government will be able to put in motion,as well as complete these plans,given all the green-signals they will require from some ministries. Perhaps the PM will at least be able to cut some inaugural ribbons before demitting office.
* This refers to Banking on inclusion by T.T. Ram Mohan (IE,June 28). Inclusive growth should be the guiding light behind all our policy formulations. New bank licences will prove to be very useful in making banking more inclusive. While issuing new licences is a step in the right direction and comes at the right time,it needs to be handled with the utmost care. Leading business houses might not always be the most worthy recipients of these licences. The RBI needs to devise criteria that recognise a licensees ability to reach out to people in rural areas.