Monday, 22 April 2013

Earth Day--its meanings for us

The ecology of Indian subcontinent has constantly been changed by human habitations. The native species have been replaced by crops and fruit trees in rural areas. Landscapes have been transformed by cultivation--for instance hills have been changed into terrace cultivation farms, valleys and slopes have been used for tea cultivation and so on. Canals have been cut to irrigate fields and courses of rivers have been changed. But most drastic changed have been initiated by building of dams and water reservoirs which reduce the flow of the rivers.Ground water has been depleted and we may have major water crisis soon.Border countries which are aggressive have built dams in their lands which would stop river flow to India.
In urban areas forest department has proven to be a dysfunctional organisation. Native species of trees have been constantly disappearing. In cities like New Delhi, efforts are taken to maintain some greenery, but rules are never followed. The rule that 6 feet of land should be left around a tree is never followed by government or by private organisations. Delhi Preservation of Tree Act 1994, Section 24(1) says that no nails will be hammered into trees; but trees are used as advertising poles with road signs on them. Anyone cuts down trees as nobody is punished for cutting down trees. Along with trees disappear the native species of birds squirrels bats butterflies and other native woodland creatures(monkeys, deer, bears etc) For the making of housing projects trees are cut down. Entire urban population prospers by exploiting resources from rural India.For urban India the rural population produces food for consumption, wood for furniture and labour from its population. This cannot go on for ever. There are limits to its resources. Ecological crisis is looming(water scarcity) overhead.By upsetting the ecological diversity(trees and animals) we have sown the seeds to our own end.Wild animals have been replaced by dogs, monkeys,cats and rats(these spread diseases). Only strong birds like the crow, parrot and pigeon survive while sharing habitats with humans.The myna, the Indian cuckoo(koel) mourning dove, the bee eater, humming bird,  the wagtails and innumerable others have disappeared; only the hen is still abundant.Soon we will have no trees for making furniture as we never planted saplings while cutting down one.... Without these birds and trees, life would not be beautiful. This is because we had failed to listen to forest department which is promoting growing of trees, we had only raised multi storey flats.

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