Save The Himalayas - Eastern Mirror
Monday, April 22, 2024
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Editorial

Save the Himalayas

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 23, 2023 11:56 pm

This year began with subsidence at Joshimath in Uttarakhand and since then the Himalayan region has been in news either due to heavy rains, flash floods or landslides. With the MET department predicting more rains in the upcoming days, it seems like 2023 is going to be the worst-ever year for the people in the region in terms of destruction. More than 200 people have already died and hundreds are missing besides loss of properties worth crores of rupees. While the common people are desperately praying for the nature’s fury to end, those in power are promising to rebuild the region within a year.

It’s a pity that when the need of the hour is to introspect and find out the reasons behind nature’s wrath, some people are yet to understand the gravity of the situation. If unplanned growth continues to take place in the Himalayan states in the name of development, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand along with other north Indian states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi may cease to exist sooner than expected due to frequent destruction of nature. It is easy to blame global warming for climate change, but the fact remains that we have actually acted as a catalyst in bringing the change by ignoring the nature deliberately. If we had little respect for nature, we would not have dared to cut the mountain slopes to widen the roads, cut trees to provide land for human settlement or allow any hill stations to grow vertically. But we have flouted every single geological and environmental norm to make these places easily accessible to tourists so that enough revenue could be generated.

Even after the Kedarnath tragedy in 2013, which was caused due to the blocking of all natural drainage systems by unplanned constructions, not much effort has been made to restrict the number of pilgrims who visit the holy place every year. If the number of pilgrims is restricted, the number of hotels and guest houses in and around the holy shrine will automatically reduce. Similarly, we have built many dams, hydro power stations in the region without thinking about the consequences. As a result, Joshimath, a strategic location to protect India’s integrity, is today disappearing due to subsidence. Shimla, which has long been a major attraction for the tourists from across the world for its scenic beauty, is also on the verge of collapsing as it has become a concrete jungle to accommodate unrestricted flow of visitors. To save the Himalayas, the past mistakes have to be corrected. Destruction of forest, unplanned construction of concrete buildings and developmental projects, and obstruction of natural drains should not be allowed at any cost in the region. It is time to discard the development model that has been followed till now. We must draw a fresh plan by respecting nature, otherwise, destruction, not development will become the

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 23, 2023 11:56:26 pm
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