forests and pastures are the mothers of rivers that sustain life. Their
catchment areas are the water basins for hydel projects and dams. Destroy
the forests and one will find dams silting and going dry; hydel projects
will remain a dream and drought a common occurrence.
Scarcity of water will affect food production and there will be no answer
to the frantic cries of the cities and villages for water between
individuals, states and nations, and progress adversely affected due to lack
Things Effecting Nature
In recent years trees have so badly lopped
that they are left only with a crown of green top; herbal collections on
massive scales by agents of drug plant owners; uncontrolled grazing by
animals; forests set on fire by villagers to get better growth for grazing
with no thought for wild animals and birds; fish being electrocuted in
mountain streams; large forest areas encroached upon by farmers and tourism
developers; forest rest houses demolished by 'timber looters';
barren, hollowed out hillsides due to mining; murder of the majestic deodars
by cutting a hollow at the base of the trunk and then setting it on fire.
Land, water and forests resources are being degraded and depleted at a
With over-exploitation for agricultural purposes and to meet the
ever-increasing demands of the cities, the sub-soil water is receding at an
alarming rate. If the rivers too go dry, the holocaust can well be imagined.
Deforestation will lead to desertification as is happening in parts of China
where the desert sand dunes are spreading at the rate of 200-sq-kms per
Forests are critical for preserving the green covering
on mountain soils. Extensive deforestation and grazing results in barren
surface, soil erosion and porosity. The porous soil, during the monsoons and
cloud bursts, soaks in water gets loosened and whole mountain sides slide
down taking with them trees, farm lands, villages and finally damming the
rivers-leaving behind barren scars on the mountains which will further
Most vulnerable to this kind of nature's fury are the run-of-the-river
schemes Hydel projects and big gravity dams especially when their catchment
areas have been deforested. "Among mountains, I am the Himalaya"
(Bhagvat Gita) - this was the pride with which our ancestors and sages
looked up to the most beautiful, majestic and mighty snow-capped mountains.
Today, however, the same Himalayas are the most degraded mountains in the
world - a eco-disaster in the making.
Wisdom is required not to plunder but to preserve. It is time to wake up to
this "last awakening call", otherwise we are heading for the
Himalayan eco-disaster and with it the "Last Bugle Call".