Bring Changes In PM Relief Fund
THE Prime Minister National Relief Fund was constituted by first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948 when the Congress was the most dominating political party in the country. As such, the PMNRF had Congress president as a permanent member of the six-member committee. But with subsequent changes in political scenario, several non-Congress governments have ruled the country. Hence it becomes a practical necessity that constitution of the PMNRF committee may be suitably changed so that the Congress chief may be replaced by the Opposition leader in Lok Sabha. The PMNRF has also place for deputy prime minister, a post that has not been always held. Therefore PMNRF committee should have a Union minister nominated by the PMNRF chairperson who happens to be Prime Minister.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, DELHI
At The Mercy Of Heat
THE sizzling heat around the country in this particularly harsh pre-monsoon season is taking a toll on the people. Temperatures around 45 degrees Celsius have become a new norm across India. The general heatwave periods have steadily increased in the last one decade. The year 2017 was said to be the fourth hottest year ever in the country. The cool air emanating from the seas is being smothered by high humidity in coastal regions drenching people with perspiration. In other regions, hot winds and lack of moisture are pushing mercury to dangerous levels. The absence of rains has worsened the situation in places where, in the past, a drizzle or two usually kept things cool. Some 400 districts in India have had poor rainfall from October 2017 and the people’s misery in these districts cannot be expressed in words. The absence of ‘mango showers’, barring southern India, has had an insuperable effect on the people. The maddening rise of night temperatures has added to the people’s woes. Acute water scarcity has hit the country and people are hard pressed to carry out their daily chores let alone refill their coolers. The overuse of electricity has put much pressure on the power grids and the load shedding in some areas have made people curse their bad luck. Simultaneously, overburdened electric grids are one of the reasons for the poor quality of air. Simmering heat, paucity of potable water, polluted air are a deadly triplet responsible for infectious diseases and much more and the vicious cycle continues. The heat strokes and the direct heatwave casualties are causes of concern. The dehydration caused by sweating has to be taken care of. The authorities should make water tanks available for the water-deprived citizens.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA