Thursday, 21 April 2016


Dear Mohan K. Pillai,
I sent to <> on 29 November 2014 a message as follows:
"Dear Office of the VC, Perhaps I should mention to you, before departing this evening for Pune (to spend the next term at the Gokhale Institute), that one of the water tanks atop the Visiting Scholars House has a chronically problematic valve. Every few weeks during these last four months, water would start gushing out at a rate intermediate between that of a garden hose and a fireman's hose; I would see this (maybe a day later, while hanging out my laundry to dry) and would report it to the Guest House Reception Office; and later a plumber would come and make the tank stop gushing for perhaps, say, three weeks. (I didn't keep a log.) The people in the Guest House Reception Office feel frustrated by the frequent recurrences of this kind of problem and have encouraged me to put in a word about it with your office. The feeling is that the responsible engineer should have problems of this kind fixed in a more lasting way. With regards, Yours sincerely, Mark Lindley." 
The VC's secretary promptly sent a message as follows to the VC (Ramakrishna Ramaswamy) and to several other people:
"Sir, This mail from Prof. Lindley is being forwarded herewith for information and necessary action by Professor I/c. and EE. I would also call Mr. Yadaiah or Mr. Baqar to ensure fixation of the problem permanently."
However, that kind of waste has evidently been happening here and there at UoHyd ever since then, and so it would seem that the people who ought to be responsible for stopping it are not doing their duty.
I would also agree with you about watering the lawns. And, perhaps your VC might propose that whatever watering of plants is considered worth doing be done by drip irrigation, so as to minimize waste. (It can be done by, for instance, poking a few holes in a patch of hose, adjusting the spigot to let a very modest flow of water into the hose, and then turning it off in a timely fashion. Or, water can be put now and then in a smallish vessel with some small holes in the bottom.)
I sincerely hope that the UoHyd administrators and staff will treat you with a modicum of courtesy and regard, and vice versa, and that squabbling may thus give way to constructive steps.
Dr. Mark Lindley (formerly University Chair Professor of Economics at UoHyd, now Visiting Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Zaragoza)

On Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 8:37 AM, Mohan K. Pillai <> wrote:
The attached pictures are from K-Hostel. Right now. Self explanatory, I suppose. Phone call to the substation got the following response - 'you all only said you dont have water!' I hope that in spite of that, they will turn off the pump.

(I know what the response will be too - tomorrow, we won't have water at all. Is it so difficult to know what is sufficient water, and what is too much? All it takes is 1-2 days of observing. Is it so hard to open and close the right valves when turning on the pump? Is it so hard to install a few float-valves? Anyway, I'm sure some random whiny puerile and pointless excuse will be produced for all these questions. The point is, sir, not your answer trumping my question, but that water is being wasted.)

None of these complaints have been addressed yet -
This is inspite of giving printouts to the engineering department and reminders to the VC's email.

Meanwhile, when there is such an acute scarcity of water in the city and state, ought we be spending so much water on our lawns? I tried pointing it out to various building in-charges, and I got raised eyebrows, and chiding that it is none of my business. But seriously - lawns? Not even saplings or young trees. Lawns??! Can't we do away with lawns for a few months? We could grow them again come July? Please? It's none of my business, sure, but it hurts to see so much water that could be used being thrown away at lawns.

When the administration is waiting with itchy palms to throw students out of the campus and is contemplating shutting down hostels citing water shortage, but still spends so much water on its lawns, I can only ironically wonder about the priorities that we seem to adopted.

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