Himalayan Tsunami a Manmade Disaster

Economic development and environment protection are not two separate entities but an integral process to better human lives and development.

Extreme man made destruction is experienced in Uttarakhand in Himalayas due to river floods in June, 2013. It is a common knowledge that quality of roads, visitor facilities, and safety standards are of very poor quality in these hills/mountains.

No body knows where to build in Himalayas in the absence of vision, detailed local level development and action plans. Having environmental policies is good but policies without action plans are leaving it to god’s mercy.
Small towns and cities are mushrooms in Himalayas, for economic development. People are moving from villages to nearby small towns for jobs and other social opportunities. Tourism has increased manifolds in Himalayas. Most of these small towns are growing along roads following the rivers in gorges and ridges. Himalayas are one of the youngest mountains hence prone to landslides and erosion with slightest of indifferent human actions.

No state or central agencies have made sincere and sensitive efforts to plan for urbanization in Himalayas. As a result, environmental destruction, blocking of river passageway through buildings, roads, and but not.

Throwing all kinds of wastes into rivers and their watersheds is a common practice. There will be many more manmade disasters with slightest of nature’s fury if the trends continue. We should not blame or bring in climate change for bad human actions in Himalayas.

River water sheds can be planned and protected. High quality flood simulations are possible to mark flood zones of rivers in Himalayas, with the help of high quality satellite imageries, geological data, and maps. Well planned roads, buildings, and urban area development is possible in Himalayas with least destruction to environment and human lives.

High quality satellite imageries, maps, and geological data is available but who is having access them for master planning environmental protection and development. For god shake do not block information, data, maps, and satellite imageries for benefit better planning and development. There is lot of money for development in this country and no money for planning.

The real fact is that people in position of power and greedy dictate development, and no planning suits them. Technical organizations are headed by people who have no understanding of planning and technology. Most people in position of power and chair lack vision and often have wasted interest. Lot of destruction in Himalayas is caused by such people who are unaware, greedy, insensitive, outsiders, and would go to any length to destroy natural environment.

Some people often misunderstand that to do development there will be some loss of environment. These set of people are very dangerous, especially to Himalayas. Such development at the cost of rivers, mountains, forests, and human lives is a result of lack of knowledge and understanding in people holding position of power. Only better insight can lead to responsible decisions.

I hope that this manmade disaster in Uttarakhand in Himalayas will lead to some sense in planning sensitive development in Himalayas. Himalayas are vulnerable to serious earth quakes, land slides, and flash floods. Mindless road and construction activities are main cause of destruction in Himalayas. People often equate approved development as planned development. This is a biggest tragedy.

Urbanization in Himalayas will happen and it is good for tourism and other economic and social development. But no planning or insensitive planning in Himalayas for economic development is certainly bad and will only lead to many more manmade disasters sooner or later. In Himalayas, every district, town, and city must have detailed environmental protection and economic development plans with monitoring mechanism.
Economic development and environment protection are not two separate entities but an integral process to better human lives and development.


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