Appropos of the edit “Getting water savvy” (FE, May 24), Modi’s call to conserve water is timely, given the prevailing drought conditions. While micro/drip irrigation is no doubt beneficial, it has to remembered that the hybrids and GM crops are inherently water-intensive and its their cultivation that is resulting in increased demand of river water. On the other hand, the water levels in major reservoirs across India have drastically fallen due to poor rainfall, according to a recent report of CWC(Central Water Commission). Against this backdrop, only natural farming, of which so much is being talked about, can help save water by it’s ability to strengthen the water-retention capacity of soils which will cut down the profligate consumption of groundwater or river water. Farmers in semi-arid regions like Vidarbha and Telangana are being advised to strictly avoid growing “killer crops” like sugarcane and cotton and switch to food crops which require less water like the rainfed millets or pulses and oil seeds.Drought-proofing missions should earnestly focus on the creation of productive village assets like water-harvesting and irrigation facilities(canals should be lined with PE or cast concrete to prevent the loss of water from evaporation and percolation), afforestation and protection of catchment areas—which will ensure ecological restoration that is crucial to precluding water famines in the long-term.
CV Krishna Manoj
Banking at the door steps
Apropos of the news report “RBI looks to limit customer liability in banking frauds” (FE, May 24), this development must have come as a big relief to the unsuspecting customers of the banking sector across the nation. It’s an open secret that various banks (both PSBs and private sector banks) have largely been indulging in some ‘innovative’ banking as a part of their strategy to remain in business. It goes without saying that the bank’s customers are usually taken for a ride by the ‘business savvy’ bank officials who make some lofty promises about any of the ‘products’ which they are marketing. Some of the banks also provide the facility of ‘Banking at your door step’ by sending their business ‘executives’ in person to convince their ‘prospective’ customers through their ‘hot selling’ business pursuits. However, one should duly appreciate that the central bank is examining to issue regulatory directions with regard to limiting liability of customers on fraudulent transactions. One earnestly wishes that the RBI will also issues some guidelines encompassing the requisite ‘checks and balances’ for the benefit of the hapless customers when an ATM dispenses fake currency.
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