The Supreme Court has affirmed that gas and oil resources are the property of the nation and their exploitation should be with the government. However, such an important ruling should apply more to potable water which is being overexploited by multinational companies, which charge heavily for bottled drinking water and soft drinks. The government has been a silent spectator in this matter when millions of people do not have adequate drinking water.

C.V. Subbaraman,

Ahmedabad

A letter in these columns raised some questions against the Supreme Court's observation that the projects relating to gas and other natural resources should be exclusively handled by PSUs.

Can an enterprise exist without the labour of its employees, without the buyer of its products and the efforts of the people behind the manufacture of its raw materials? Is the success of an entrepreneur or enterprise possible without the involvement of the society around, in some way or the other? Can an individual survive without the cooperation of the others in the society? Then, will not all the products and resultant value produced in the society become the entire society's property? How can something extracted from beneath the surface of the earth be appropriated by a few individuals? A system needs to be evolved by which all natural resources and benefits of the products of societal labour are equitably distributed among the entire population.

Kasim Sait,

Chennai

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