IDC report :

An uneasy calm envelops the dusty roads and recently harvested fields of Khiala village in Mansa district of Punjab. The village looks abandoned except for a few eager eyes scanning the only vehicle moving around on a sunny afternoon.

Sarabjit Pandher

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government has advised farmers to plan their kharif crops keeping in view the receding water level in all the three dams in the State. This will result in the rationing in release of water into the three major irrigation systems.

ABOUT 10 km short of Faridkot town in the heart of Punjab's Malwa belt is Guru ki Dhaab, a small village of hundred houses.

Tackling mealy bug menace in Malwa belt As mealy bug attack on cotton and other crops has turned grave, the Punjab government has convened a meeting of the deputy commissioners of the Malwa belt tomorrow at Ferozepur. Sources said senior Agriculture department officers today met at Bathinda after visiting various areas in the Malwa belt where attack of mealy bug was quite intense. Mealy bug problem, common in Chandigarh region for several years, has now become a serious problem in Malwa belt. As grass and other wild plants play host to the bug, its wiping out is a huge task.

India's rural activists for years have blamed the overuse and misuse of pesticides for a pervasive health crisis that afflicts villages like Jhajjal across the cotton belt of Punjab. Evidence continues to mount that the problems are severe.

Indian state of Punjab is increasingly under focus for the increasingly incidence of cancer mortality as well as indiscriminate use of pesticides in agricultural practices. This study investigates cancer mortality, and its correlations with numerous variables, including demographic characteristics, cropping pattern and pesticide residues in soil and water.

Punjab's Malwa region, south of the Sutlej river, grabbed national attention a couple of years ago when its steeply rising cancer graph came to light. Studies had revealed the link between heavy