Haphazard Development Triggered U’khand Glacier Burst: Activists
Activists call out the state in order to stop ‘dangerous development’ in ecologically fragile areas.
A flash flood triggered by a glacier break on Sunday, 7 February, has wreaked devastation in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli. At least 14 people are feared dead so far and at least 170 others are reportedly missing.
Various environmentalists, political leaders as well as other public figures took to Twitter to express distress over the tragedy and extend support to those affected by the disaster, but have blamed development as one of the biggest triggers to the Uttarakhand disaster.
BJP leader and former Union Minister Uma Bharti on Sunday called the glacial burst a matter of concern and a warning.
“When I was a minister, my ministry in its affidavit about the dams in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas had requested that it is a very sensitive region, and, therefore, power projects should not be built on the Ganges and its main tributaries,” tweeted Bharti in Hindi.
Nine-year-old child environmentalist, Licypriya Kangujam, asked for the resignation of Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Ravat over the Uttarakhand disaster, saying ‘Climate change is not an excuse to escape’.
She tweeted, “Uttarakhand disaster is not a tragedy. This is Climate Crisis. Children warned well in advance but our leaders didn’t listened[sic.]. Rapid deforestation, construction of dams in high altitude and climate change leading to this disasters. If adults do not act, children will fix the accountability.”
Indian Forest Service official, Ankit Kumar, tweeted a representation video of the glacial lake outburst of Uttarakhand and identified ‘development pressure’ and ‘climate change’ as potential triggers.
Avinash Kumar, a climate campaigner from Greenpeace India tweeted that the Uttarakhand disaster is an unfortunate calamity, and the cause for the incident needs an “honest investigation”.
He added that it’s evident that “increasing human interventions in the ecologically sensitive Himalaya region are making it more vulnerable to climate change” and called to avoid “heavy construction in ecologically fragile areas”.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha has blamed development projects and climate change to contribute to the Uttarakhand tragedy.
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Nationalist Congress Party Vandana Chavan tweeted about the importance of maintaining a “balance between development and environment conservation”.
Indian spiritual guru and yogi Sadhguru asked to rethink power projects in ecologically sensitive areas.
Writers such as Pragya Tiwari, Mrinal Pande and Kavita also took to Twitter to call out the state in order to stop further “dangerous development” in Uttarakhand.
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