Mindless rampage on Himalayas in name of advancement should stop: Chipko

GOPESHWAR: The glacial burst near Chamoli district’s Raini village, the cradle of the Chipko motion, must serve as a wake-up call to stop the rampage on the Himalayan environmental system in the name of development, stated Magsaysay awardee Chandi Prasad Bhatt on Monday.

According to the 87-year-old ecologist, who was a Chipko movement leader, projects like the Rishi Ganga hydel task, which bore the impact of Sunday’s catastrophe, must not have actually been provided ecological clearance.

Bhatt said that in 2010 he had actually written to the then environment minister alerting against the negative impacts of the task.”Had my advice been hearkened, the loss of lives and largescale damage to property at the task site could have been prevented. The meaningless rampaging on the Himalayas in the name of advancement should stop,” he said.A part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that got rid of hydroelectric stations, leaving at least 10 individuals dead and 143 missing out on, who are feared dead.The abrupt flood in the middle of the day in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers– all elaborately linked tributaries of the Ganga– activated widespread panic and large-scale devastation in the high mountain areas.Two power jobs– NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel job and the Rishi Ganga Hydel Task– were thoroughly damaged with scores of labourers trapped in tunnels as the waters came rushing in.Pointing out that the Himalayas are too fragile to bear too much human intervention, Bhatt, who has actually likewise been honoured with the International Gandhi Peace Reward, said, “Sunday’s avalanche was a wake-up call and so was the 2013 Kedarnath deluge in which thousands perished but authorities decline to learn from natural disasters.”A terrible natural catastrophe in the kind of torrential rains of unseen magnitude had actually struck Kedarnath on 16-17 June in 2013. The banks of the Chorabari lake in Kedarnath collapsed due to a cloudburst that had resulted in a major flash flood causing extensive destruction in Uttarakhand and resulted in heavy losses to infrastructure, farming lands, human and animal lives.”The Chipko motion had actually started from Raini village after largescale destruction in the Rishi Ganga and Alakananda Valleys caused by a disastrous flood in 1970. The flood awakened the residents to the need of saving the forests of Raini,” said Bhatt who resides in Gopeshwar informed PTI.The motion had resulted in a ban on cutting of trees in the catchment area of the Alaknanda river, he said.Women from Raini town of Uttarakhand had actually begun the motion in the 1970s by clinging onto trees to prevent them from being cut. Though the movement was begun to prevent the felling of trees, it went on to become an inspiration for environment conservation.Bhatt said ecological clearance to a 13 MW hydel job in a river near its point of origin in a Himalayan glacier total up to welcoming calamities like this. Ecological clearance to projects like that on the Rishi Ganga without correct factor to consider might be extremely harmful to the fragile Himalayan environmental system. It likewise leads to inordinate hold-up in clearance to infrastructural jobs of public use, he said.Bhatt also highlighted the requirement for updating the knowledge of the eco-friendly system connected with places where rivers like the Ganga and its tributaries come from the Mountain ranges.”On the points where the Ganga or its tributaries originate there are not only glaciers but also lakes of differing sizes, huge and little, about which our knowledge is minimal. It needs to be enhanced,” he stated.”We need to determine such lakes and glaciers, show them on our maps and keep a tab on them. An effective mechanism of sharing standard info on their vulnerability with the local administration and the regional population need to likewise be developed,” Bhatt stressed.

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