Mohan Lal Verma
Shimla, Jul 28
The wreckage of half a dozen vehicles smashed by shooting stones and big boulders, crumbling a massive bridge and building like pile of cards, left locals and tourists in deep panic posing a question mark that what is happening at the top of the mountains of the hill states in the Himalayan region.
Deputy commissioner Kinnaur Abid Husain Sadiq said in a statement on Tuesday that Sangala-Chhitkul road would not open unit Public Works Department would issued clearance certificate that road is safe for the movement of traffic after Sunday tragic mishap as nine Tourists killed and two other injured after a tempo traveller rained by massive boulders.
A team from Geological Survey of India was requisitioned which arrived last night at Sangla from Chandigarh would visit the spot of landslides near Batsari village to study the activities of the unstable rocks.
Team is, likely to reveal the mystery what caused massive devastation in the area on Sunday and what happened before catastrophic landslide to geology of mountains rocks.
” The traffic could not be permitted until Public Works Department would give green signal for safe movement of traffic on this black spot to ensure the safety of commuters and vehicles. ” Sadiq said.
Deputy commissioner said that tragic incident could not be termed as major negligence or safety breach to avert the lives of people as district administration has already placed big sign boards on the road warning the commuters and vehicle drivers that the area is highly prone to shooting stones due to unstable hills and frequent cases of rolling boulders and stones front the top of hill.
Shooting stones were also falling down from the place a day or two before this incident. It is quite normal in the hills now that wreckage of car or vehicles riped apart by heavy boulders could be found along the road in such areas.
The tribal district is also witnessing abnormal increase in the maximum temperature during the Monsoon also leading to thawing of glacier speedily and causing flash flood in the district of Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti.
During the monsoon both district record very less rainfall hower the nallah and water streams are in furry it speaks that something is happening on the top of Himalayas, which needs to be worried about.
Member of Himachal Pradesh Gayan Vigayan Samiti Govind Chatranta said that unlimited blasting inside under construction tunnels by various power projects in Himachal Pradesh may be responsible for the hovac as tonnes of gelatin and dinamite is being exploded relentlessly for making of such tunnels.
He said that private firms are digging several underground tunnels and are least bothered about environment as these are insensitive to frigile ecology of hill states.
Blasting and extensive use of dynamite also is, depleting the natural drinking and irrigation sources in the hills state. To complete the construction of tunnel while saving money they have disturbed the water tables in the hills which already lies very deep in inclined hills.
” National Green Tribunal has fined the State sector HP Power Corporation Limited for breaching of environmental norms while constructing Sawra Kudhu power project and tunneled the unstable zone in Jubbal area of Shimla district. “Chatranta informed.
Power projects are being designed on the fault lines without conducting proper geological study or survey for the project and state hills are becoming unstable and highly prone to incident of landslide, flash floods and shooting stones, Chatranta who won the legal battle in Sawra Kudhu project claimed when asked to respond on the Batsari mishap.
Every one knows that Himalayas happen to be young ranges. Every time there happen to be a tictonic shift in the plates of earth crests, it effects the ranges. Power projects, bridges and highways are not perpetual but ate having short self life and being designed to harness energy up to 50 to sixty years, he added.
Former IAS Officer and convenor of environment organisation Him Lok Jagriti Manch RS Negi said that shooting stones, landslides and sudden rise of water after glacial melting at certain time in the day at some places is well marked phenomenon, however now narrow roads and landlock hills are being thronged by human activities and number of mega project are mushrooming on all small and major rivers banks leading to massive devastation.
” It is not only on the our side of border that human activities are threatening to frigile ecology but massive road, dams, rail and other projects in Tibet by China are ruined in the Himalayas which is called third pole of globe.” he said.
There is a saying in Astronomy that ‘you cannot move a finger without disturbing the whole universe’ it is very likely that Himalayas is becoming less hospitable and more tragic with coming up of unsustainable mega projects in the state.
He said that it is not rocket science to understand the scale of devastation likely to take place attributed to the policy of the Govt as more than 60 sixty New National Highways including many four lanes roads are being proposed in the state with startling reality that hundred of power projects are either being under execution or in pipe line being proposed by the state.
Local which are familiar to the type of ecology and geology of their ancestral lands and hills are up in the arms to oppose such relentless development threatening the existence of lives, livilihood, glacier, hills and perineal rivers and water source quenching the thirst of people in the country as only 2.5 per cent of glacier and others water source is worth for human consumption, he added.
Former IFS officer and convenor of Himachal Pradesh Gayan Vigayan Samiti Dr Kuldeep Singh Tanwar said that unscientific exploitation of natural resources and relentless mining for hydropower project and massive green felling for transmission lines and road project is root cause of unstable hills and Batsari boulder shooting is alarming calls for Authority.
He said that ” Andhra landslides and flash floods tregady also caused massive loss of properties and life in1997 under Chiragon subdivision of Shimla district.
The finding of the Andhra tragedy revealed that average temperature had increased to four degrees in last 200 years due to relentless green felling in the region. The goat and sheep grazing also unstabled the texture of the soil on the incline hills after deforestation.
Dr Tanwar said that Compansatory afforestation Forest Management and Planning Authority Fund(CAMPA,) should have been utilised by the state to avert the damage being caused for the environment however the CAMPA funds was utilised and misutilised to various others means forfeiting it’s purpose.
“It also increase the dependence of local communities and tribal people on the left out scare natural resources including forest, its produce to graze their livestock.” he said.
” Power project is being allowed by in a tearing hurry by successive state goverments without considering its adverse impact on the frigile ecology and environment of hill state” Dr Kuldeep Tanwar argued.
Extensive exploitation and massive construction and execution of large number of mega projects could cause similar natural disasterous like Batsari mishap if government would not mend it’s policy of expansion of heavy infrastructure and power projects and building of tunnel and dams in the earthquake prone areas, he warned.