Curbing deforestation

I HAVE personally witnessed erosion of the Chenab River near Shorkot where cultivatable land was being eroded by the river, reducing useful land.I think the Irrigation Department concerned is not taking any note of it which is depriving owners of precious agricultural land.I suggest that floods every year are for warning against such devastations. This must be addressed by the Punjab government, besides the efforts by the NDMA as the same will require funds for strengthening of embankments.There

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Thar drought and migration

THIS YEAR, due to lack of monsoon rains, the area is again experiencing a drought and the district government has already recommended declaring the district as calamity-hit. There are indications that the situation might turn out to be more serious than it was in 1985-87 and 1999-2000 when Tharparkar had its worst droughts in last three decades.The last year’s delayed devastating rains, causing immense runoff, left more than two-thirds area with no grass/crops. Even the undamaged parts

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Time for telcos to appoint industry spokesperson

PAKISTAN’S CELLULAR companies have been hit with industry specific situations lately. From tax evasion to shutdown of cellular services on Eid day and then the issue of ban on prepaid SIMs.During all these events, media persons remained deprived of sufficient and correct information from cellular companies, for the reasons we will mention below.Since banning of prepaid SIMs was an industry specific issue, cellular companies were understandably reluctant to express their displeasure against

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Security or financial slaughter?

THE INDICATION by Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik before Eid-ul-Fitr of the government’s considering banning the pre-paid SIMs in the country and then saying only unregistered SIMs could be blocked, fearing militant elements can use these SIMs for subversive activities, and terming successful the blockade of cell phone services on the Eid especially in the cities like Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Quetta has not only sprung a wave of extreme surprise for telecom experts but also incurred

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Corporate farming in Pakistan

DURING THE last couple of years the increase in prices of staple commodities have forced many countries to grow their own crops to manage supplies for their domestic consumers.In pursuit of what is being called food security, some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have focused on Pakistan to undertake corporate farming on its fertile lands.Contrary to conventional western investors, these Arab companies are not hesitant in launching projects in Pakistan.Some private companies,

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Demo of water car

I WOULD like to share with readers that way back in the early 1940s, just before the end of World War II, an experiment to run water-fuelled car was successfully held and went into operation in the former state of Hyderabad (Deccan), India. As a reaction to extreme scarcity and rationing of petrol, Mahboob Ali, a pioneering former director of wireless and broadcasting and son of eminent scholar Maulvi Chiragh Ali, invented a gadget that made cars run on water and steam.The truth of its success

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Need for science education

IN THIS developed era, science education has got an envious niche in the world of knowledge. Undoubtedly with all our science activities we recognise science as the most important subject for our next generation and trust the best way for children to learn it through engaging them in exciting hands-on activities, providing them with spectacular demonstrations, encouraging them to participate in enquiry-based discussions. Scientific literacy means a broader understanding of basic concepts. It is

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Diminishing water availability, a major problem

URBAN POPULATION of Pakistan swelled by over 2.2 million people between 2011 and 2012, now constituting about 38 per cent of the country’s total population of over 180 million. The increased population growth rate as well the massive shift of population from rural to urban areas on one hand has triggered concerns, the rapidly diminishing per capital water availability has rung alarm bells. Fresh official statistics suggest that presently per capita water availability stands at 1,011 cubic

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Automobile companies

IT IS common scientific knowledge that water when electrolysed yields hydrogen and oxygen gas. This gas, known as HHO, is supposedly supplied to the engine as fuel.The point of contention here is that this is being put forward as a new invention.A cursory search on the Internet reveals that this so-called invention is nothing new. In fact, this idea has been around for a long time.Do-it-Yourself guides and kits are freely available online for anybody to buy. That is the reason for so many recent

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Floods and disaster management

I REGRET to say that the authorities concerned have not learnt a lesson from the devastating floods in the last two years. They have not prepared any disaster management plan to counter possible floods this year.Despite millions of dollars as relief funds from within and outside Pakistan, the authorities concerned and NGOs have hardly done enough to feed and shelter the affected people.They had merely given a short-term relief, while the affected people were forgotten later. Over a million homes

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Multiple concerns on stagnant IT and telecom sector

PAKISTAN WITNESSED a high boom in its IT and Telecom sector from 2001 to 2005 with remarkable investments to the tune of Rs 9 billion mainly due to the successful implementation of reforms in the country. No doubt that Pakistan had secured the top notch among the South Asian states in terms of growth rate in addition to production of highly skilled manpower and availability of IT and telecom services on comparatively cheaper charges in the world market. However, since the last couple of years

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Pesticide harmful for health…

PAKISTAN IS an agricultural country. Some of the major crops grown here include cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, banana and sunflower, but how do we protect and safeguard them from harmful pests and diseases?Being a plant protectionist, I would suggest that we should apply and use all safeguard measures, which have been recommended by experts. Chemicals control is visibly giving fast results. That is why farmers and landlords use mostly chemicals compared to other controls. However,

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Dams: A national necessity

IT IS right in general saying that agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy. He has spelt out in detail all the benefits that accrue to the country from agriculture as well as the many reasons for its decline. Surprisingly, he did not mention the shortage of water. There is a 24 per cent shortage of water in the Kharif period and up to 40 per cent for the Rabi period. Sindh and Punjab are both up in arms about water shortage. Why this reluctance to talk about shortage of water. Is it

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Dr Salams legacy

I AM distressed to learn that Dr Abdus Salam, who led to the discovery of the subatomic God particle’, is not well-regarded in his homeland.He holds the distinction of being the only and the first Pakistani scientist to receive a Nobel Prize in physics. He tirelessly advocated for the development of science in the Third World countries.Dr Salam shared the Nobel Prize in 1979 with Steven Weinberg. They independently predicted the existence of a subatomic particle now called the Higgs boson,

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Pesticide use proving harmful

PAKISTAN IS an agricultural country where different crops are cultivated according to the season and the region. Some of the major crops grown here include cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, banana and sunflower. But how do we protect and safeguard them from harmful pests and diseases?Being a plant protectionist, I would suggest that we should apply and use all safeguard measures which have been recommended by experts.Chemical control is visibly giving fast results. That is why farmers and

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More innovative national agriculture policy needed

PAKISTAN IS a country where about 37 per cent population lives in rural areas and their income source is directly or indirectly related to agriculture. Agriculture contributes about 22 per cent to country’s GDP and about 25 per cent of the country’s total land area is under cultivation. About 41 percent of the labour forces are employed in agriculture, but on the contrary, the current agriculture policy lacks some flaws that leads to multiple negative factors in agriculture sector. In fact,

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Why hydropower?

HYDROPOWER IS globally recognized as a renewable, cheap and reliable resource of energy as it generates electricity with zero emission and produces no waste.  There is no requirement of fuel, operating cost is much lower and hydropower plants have longer economic lives than thermal plants. Pakistan has total installed power generation capacity of 20,456 MW. The demand for electricity is increasing at an average annual rate of eight per cent. Thus, there is gross power shortage at national level

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