Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Floods in Uttarakhand, Prayers & Hope....

Its really disheartening to see Uttarakhand dealing with such a dreadful flood this year. Even my place is not spared. Half of the Saharanpur is under water and many of my father's friends, our relatives are dealing with this crisis. I just hope and pray everyone remains safe and this disaster soon gets fade away

Anyways, I just got to see a post on Facebook, it goes like this:

"The government has tried to build up dams to overcome the power shortage. This has been opposed by locals and some prominent politicians like Uma Bharti and B. C. Khanduri since it would lead to the submergence of the Shrine, and efforts to construct dams have been delayed indefinitely. [4] Twice, in 1882 & in 2013, attempts to shift the shrine were immediately followed by havoc in Kedar Valley. On June 15th, 2013; the idol was removed to be shifted to another location to facilitate the construction of the same dam, which locals were opposing since beginning. This was followed by a massive cloudburst and flash floods the next day."

See, and we have already started searching for reasons to blame for this disaster! *Bleak* God, I don't know when we Indians will learn to blame the real reasons of the mishaps happening!

Infact, I have been talking to many of my relatives daily just to make sure everyone is fine and all I have been hearing about are the blames on God, the sad questions being put forward to God! "pata nahi bhagwaan ne aisa kyun kiya?" (Dont know, why God has done this?), "Naa jaane bhagwaan ki kya marzi hai?" (Don't know, what God wants?), "Pata nahi, is baar bhagwaan kya chahta hai?" (Don't know what God wants this time?) and many such more ranting and bursting on God. Poor God! I pity on him...He must be feeling so helpless at this moment!

Infact, one of my aunt yesterday said, "I don't know why is it raining so much this year?" and unable to stop myself, I asked her, "Is it the first time, you are seeing this kind and amount of rain?" and she said "No...". Then, why to blame God or rain for this calamity? Its our own deeds that we are facing! Yes, it use to always rain cats and dogs every year. Even I have stayed in that region for almost 20 years and have witnessed such heavy rains almost in every monsoon... And BTW, that's the whole and sole purpose and job of monsoons: to pour rain! And if it doesn't rain, we rant and blame monsoons for not doing their jobs!*sign*

And why are we all blaming God? What did he do??? Poor soul...

Its us: humans who had cut down all the trees mercilessly. We are not realizing that, in the quest to make more and more money, we have shamelessly increased deforestation to such a stage that it has bought us on the verge of facing these calamities!Till when, the nature is alone going to bear the pain.

Everybody would have learnt in biology, how trees and forests help us in stopping floods. Let me revise it here: Trees help lessen the effects of large floods by absorbing and delaying the release of flood flows.  When planted upstream, trees can help in slowing down the amount of water being released by stopping all the water rushing into the river in one go. More trees in the upland have a far greater sponge like capacity to absorb water and then release it more slowly.

Rivers where the trees along the banks have been removed, stand a larger chance of flooding than they did before deforestation. And in India, every river is in this situation!

Its a well established truth that a single 10 inch tree can store more than 60,000 gallons of water during a single rainfall. That means, a single tree can save flooding by more than 250,000 liters of water. Yes!!! That astonishing the fact is...

I remember when I was a kid, and we used to go to Mussoorie or Rishikesh, around 10-12 years back, the whole passage used to be full of mountains completely covered by trees and forests. But now, all I see on those same mountains and hills are the houses, shops, roads, malls, hotels, restaurants! I hardly get to see any tree on them! Where have all the trees gone? Well, some of them have been sacrificed to fulfill our demand of wood to create our beautiful mansions, some have been used in making notebooks and books, some in making toilet papers and so on and so forth! But, yes, they all have been cut to fulfill our demands: Human being's demands. Now who on this planet can dare to stand in front of us. We are the king of this earth and we have the complete authority to do whatever we want with it: yes, be it means destroying it!

You know, now when I go to Uttarakhand, I feel as if whole of its land has been concreted because it has been commercialized so much! This obviously prevent water from seeping in the ground, and the same water, instead of being converted to safe drinking water, results in floods. Trees catch water and store it for future purposes. This is the normal water cycle that has been disrupted by not leaving enough green open areas, and cutting down decades old trees in the region.

We require special projects from Government to keep a strict eye on deforestation. The process has to be made stringent. In fact, different commercializing projects like building dams etc should be made keeping in view that green areas have to be left for natural replenishment of ground water.

This one calamity is not something that happened suddenly. You know CAG has warned Uttarakhand government 3 years back!!!

In a CAG report submitted 3 years back, it was clearly mentioned that hydel projects along rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda are causing damage to hills and increasing possibility of flash floods. And what did Government do? The same thing that they are expert in doing! Ignored!!! And the results are here, in front of everyone...

I hope we do not have to face anymore mishaps like this one again. Its a pain to see people suffering like this, its hard to see the pain of people losing their beloved ones! That too innocent people are the ones who suffers the most...

But each and every one of us have to realize the importance of trees in our lives, else expect more of such kind of calamities to occur, or much worse, today its Uttarakhand, tomorrow it can be any other place!

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