LESSON TO LEARN

With the recent Joshimath sinking having left thou- sands of people shelterless it is high time for people to realize the fact that the environmental degrada- tion has resulted due to utter carelessness and negligence on the part of people by not following the rules of sustainable development that resulted in repeated weather vagaries as well as increasing toxicity in air, water and even soil thus ulti- mately threatening the very existence of flora and fauna on the earth. It would not be wrong to state that the incident is definitely a man-made disaster. The ecological web of life of the mountains has evolved to adjust to the slow ascent, but human activities have not. The enormous weather cycle of the monsoon has become a part of this cyclic storm, but when human development enters the scene, the ecology does not have the time to adjust. The old grey-gravel, bajri roads permitted water to filter down through our limestone slopes and recharge our aquifers, feeding the springs on which the town depends. Cement roads force rain, hail, and snow to run off. Moreover there has been more of fiddling with the forests in the area. With no drainage channels, they accumulate in the limestone slopes, causing them to bulge and, eventually, burst at some stage to cause colossal loss of life and property. Over-concretisation blocking natural drainage and landslides happening thus laid the very founda- tions of the collapse. This is what happened in Joshimath.
Though the disaster management machinery had been put in place by nations across the globe including India to check human loss of life during the eventualities resulting out of weather vagaries, yet one feels that today there is a dire need to concentrate on the issue of addressing climate change by initiating long term measures. For this it is extremely necessary to preserve the existing biodiversity of this globe and initiate massive efforts and measures to restore the rich ecological systems to their pristine glory.
India has already taken the front seat to address this issue at the international level and a multipronged strategy needs to be adopted in letter and spirit today which will undoubtedly catalyze the campaign to bring the pollution levels down across the nation and the globe. In this regard the odd-even scheme adopted on experimental basis by the Kejriwal led Delhi Govt proved a success as it resulted in bringing down the pollution level to some extent thus having a positive impact on the biodiversity in the national capital. While addressing the significant aspect of biodiversity conserva- tion, it is high time that people across the nation play their role in restoring the rich biodiversity that would ultimately lead to a healthy nation with healthy subjects and self suffi- cient in terms of food. The tales of these nature’s furies in the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are spine raising so much so that even a downpour of a few hours now scares the people. The people must understand that the furies faced by them have resulted only because of their reckless fiddling with the rich biodiversity of this region for fulfilling their interests at the cost of future generations besides leading to their own victimization. The human infringement of nature that is making them to pay through their nose needs to be stopped by them as it is they who can restore the rich biodiversity of the distinct regions of these Union Territories by adopting eco-friendly projects suitable as per the geographic and climatic condition of the respective areas. As of today, there is a dire need to emulate initiatives taken across the nation and abroad that have successfully resulted in protecting and preserving the rich biodiversities of various regions. Thus learning a lesson from the Joshimath disaster let everyone realize that rich biodiversity is the life- line of the people that needs to be maintained at optimum level at all costs failing which such man-made disasters will continue to take a heavy toll of life and property.