Millennium Post

Why locals to be blamed for deforestation in Uttrakhand?

The forest department is the biggest landlord in our state as it covers 65 per cent total area and in big towns like Dehradun, they cover 5 percent of the total land.’ Padmashree Avdhash Kausal and chairperson of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEG), a Dehradun-based NGO told while talking about the various aspects of environment-related issues.

He lamented that various NGOs and environmentalists are raising their voices against various hydro-electric projects and tunnel-based roads. They come with the often repeated argument that blasting in the name of development is weakening the foundations of rocks and hills. But, the reality is that tunnels path cannot be built by blasting.

Delhi Metro is running in tunnels, but have you ever heard of blasting in any corner of the city. Tunnels are made by drilling, and then iron sheets are put inside to support it. Road tunnels are the best options in the higher hills to connect villages to the cities. Recently, in Jammu and Kashmir, 13 km tunnel for railway was inaugurated by PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.  
He added that according to the Planning Commission, 40 per cent of the villages are not connected even by underdeveloped roads, and they are connected only by footpaths. When anybody falls sick, how difficult it is to bring that person to hospital.

He said that dams are the need of the hour to make us self-reliant and a stepping stone to the path of development. Dams are not constraint to the natural flow of river water. But blasting should be discouraged at any cost as it is anti-environment and anti-labour. Some pseudo-NGOs are getting fund from America and European countries, so they always speak of their language. They want to sell their uranium, machines and engineers with no liability and accountability. They never want to make us self-reliant on power.

Some give their opinion that water flowing in the tunnels gets polluted. But ask them that the potable water that they get in their kitchen through water pipes is also a sort of miniature tunnels.
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