Our fragile ecology

Published at March 14, 2018 02:20 AM 0Comment(s)3456views

Our fragile ecology

With politics and conflict taking the centre-stage in Kashmir, environmental and ecological concerns are being pushed to periphery which is perilous to the state. From diminishing forest and agriculture lands to pollution to unabated encroachment of public property, the state is battling with crises that have been afflicting the people from time to time in the form of natural and man-made disasters. The state has been losing the needed forest cover with the illegal timber smuggling robbing the state of the green zones. The records are awfully managed and accountability is at the bottom. Wetlands are also not in good shape as drives launched by government to check the pollution have not delivered the expected results. Many small and lesser known water bodies are turning into cesspools. Although the drainage system in city for the residents has undergone changes but the old waterways have been completely lost, which many people believe are responsible for flooding of low-lying regions. Despite laws seeking to protect the environment, our water bodies are polluted and shrinking, our forest cover has reduced and our wildlife is threatened. Flooding, silting and landslides have become more common. Law enforcement is either poor or susceptible to corruption. Despite crores of rupees being allocated for the restoration of lakes and conservations of wetlands, authorities have failed to stop the pollution and encroachments from strangling it to death. Wullar Lake and the adjoining wetlands have also been shrinking in area over the years due to human apathy towards nature. Even the official figures about the encroachment near water bodies and subsequent decline in the number of migratory birds is frightening. The government has failed to address different aspects of the problem like carrying capacity of Jhelum and the weakening of its embankments owing to human settlements close to the river banks. Given the losses that the state and its people had to bear by disasters like floods, landslides, cloudbursts and avalanches, environmental concerns cannot be snubbed. The overall climate changes have further added to the woes. Both environmentalists and experts on global climate changes have forewarned about future disasters. Despite the signs, it is hard to predict when they might strike the state, like the floods of 2014. Yet, the government can take several precautionary measures to avert the disasters and restore the state to its former glory. A more comprehensive environmental policy is the need of the hour. The government should come up with new legislations in this regard. 




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