Letters to the editor dated April 3, 2020

| Updated on April 03, 2020

Tea needs a booster

I have been a tea planter for 50 years. The tea industry has been facing numerous problems over the last 10 years mainly due to climate change, shortage of workers and maximum residue levels of chemicals in tea. These factors have created a reduced cash flow.

Covid-19 has struck the whole world by surprise and we are thankful for the good work done by the government in controlling this pandemic.

There are two basic issues that require attention. Wages for the workers and the staff are to be paid now. In view of the dwindled cash flow, if the government can consider extending an interest-free loan to pay the wages for March and April, and this loan can be settled on a spread of 24 months with a holiday for first six months, it will be most welcome since none of the workers will be pushed to starvation. The industry will be grateful as a gesture of goodwill if 50 per cent of the said loan component can be considered as a subsidy and the balance to be repaid.

I have a concept for automating the field and factory operations that includes the ‘near organic’ concept. This is radically different from zero budget agricultural farming and is based on nitrate reductase concept.

The highlights of this method are: restoring soil health by adding humus, the source being press mud, residue of filtration of sugarcane juice; reduction of fertilisers based on ‘nitrate reductase’; rainwater harvesting to mitigate climate change and deployment of solar energy to transfer the water saved from the lower reaches to the upper.

If this concept is converted to a project it will address most of the issues that plantations are facing today. Infrastructure funding would greatly enhance the cause.

N Lakshmanan


Virus battle

This refers to ‘Covid and Federalism’ (April 3). If developed countries like the US are struggling to cope with the ever-growing demand of personal protection equipment, then we can safely assume what would be the condition of India, which is poorly placed on WHO standards. The world just need to take a cue from Germany’s proactive approach — its virologists started developing testing kits four months ago and can now conduct 50,000 test per week.

We should adopt Germany and South Korea’s methods to trace, test, and treat to contain the damage, especially after the Tablighi Jamaat episode. At this hour of crisis, both the public and private sector need to join hands to ensure that more companies come forward to manufacture these equipments to cater growing needs.

Bal Govind


Exit strategy

This refers to ‘Centre may go for staggered exit from lockdown’ (April 03). One fully appreciates the Centre’s proposed move seeking lifting of the 21-day nationwide lockdown in a staggered manner.

Significantly, rime Minister Narendra Modi held a marathon four-hour meeting with the Chief Ministers to take stock of the extant situation on the Covid-19, where he not only overemphasised the need for the formulation of a common exit strategy but also showed an all-inclusive roadmap for fighting the coronavirus. It becomes incumbent upon each one of us to rise to the occasion and do everything possible to minimise the impending fallouts of Covid-19, the proper medical treatment of which still eludes the global medical fraternity.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula, Haryana

Time for solidarity

This refers to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s criticism of the 21-day lockdown alleging that it was done in unplanned manner, overlooking the fact that such emergency steps have to be taken instantly.

The Opposition still has time to stand united in national interest by adhering to the Prime Minister’s words and following the principle of distancing.

Madhu Agrawal


Published on April 03, 2020

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