Sparring Points

Besides Lokpal Bill, politicians have sparred with civil society on four key pieces of legislation

On May 30, as the joint drafting committee of the Lokpal Bill met for the fifth time in the conference room of the ministry of finance in North Block, trouble was already brewing.

IN the tsunami of December 2004, people heard a strange, deep rumbling before columns of the sea came in. In 2008, the people of north Bihar had no such warning. The river was silent and swift, rising from a deceptive two feet to nearly eight feet in a matter of hours, trapping lakhs of people in remote villages in the districts of Purnea, Madhepura, Araria, Supaul, Saharsa and Kul.

Wet Runs: There are 32 ongoing water projects with private sector participation, as also 22 hydro power projects with private participation. Some 20 states are undertaking water sector reforms.
Farm Woe: Net irrigated area in India is 55 mn ha against a net crop area of 142 mn ha.

Fast Dwindling: Forest cover has gone down by 1,409 sq km between 2003 and 2005.