[Reader-list] What Mughal Road didn't that shrine land-transfer plans did
pawan.durani at gmail.com
Mon Jun 30 21:11:20 IST 2008
Dear Friend Shivam ,
I hope you would learn to identify between my views and the views I have
posted with proper credit to the source.
The story proves a point that for people of Kashmir , ecology is a non issue
..but providing facilities for hindu pligrim is a pain .
On 6/30/08, Shivam Vij शिवम् विज् <mail at shivamvij.com> wrote:
> Thanks for posting this, Pawan. I think, as in the Sethusamudram
> project, the ecological issue is merely a political smokescreen. It is
> laughable when politicians suddenly remember ecology when it is
> politically convenient. So the separatists and the PDP in the Amarnath
> land case, and the BJP-VHP-RSS in the Sethusamudram case, do make for
> strange ecological bedfellows.
> I think that the least politicians can do in such cases is be honest
> about their politics, we would be able to appreciate them better. It
> does not help me appreciate your point of view when you suddenly show
> ecological concern when your only concern is the escalation of the
> New Delhi strategy to increase India's stake in the Valley. Even if
> your supporters and voters don't mind, ecologists would.
> On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com>
> > *What Mughal Road didn't that shrine land-transfer plans did*
> > **
> > http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&id=210771&usrsess=1
> > Kavita Suri
> > JAMMU, June 29: Three years ago, when the then chief minister of Jammu
> > Kashmir Mufti Mohammed Sayeed decided to revive the centuries-old Mughal
> > Road in the region, no one in Kashmir even uttered a single word on the
> > massive destruction of environment in Pir Panjal mountain ranges of the
> > Himalayas.
> > The revival of the old Mughal Road which was once used by the great
> > to travel to Kashmir from Lahore and its subsequent reconstruction
> > by Mufti Sayeed not only witnessed destruction of over 10,000 trees and
> > wild life sanctuaries but also fragmented the habitat of the
> > highly-endangered wild Markhor goat. India is estimated to have a total
> > population of only 300-200 of this species, which is found in southwest
> > Kashmir's Hirpora, Lachipora and Limber wildlife sanctuaries falling on
> > Mughal Road.
> > Surprisingly, all the political parties remained silent over the issue of
> > degradation of environment and destruction of the wild life sanctuaries
> > to the work on the Mughal Road.
> > But when the Jammu and Kashmir government recently decided to transfer 40
> > hectares of forest land at Baltal and Domail for the proposed camping
> > located on the right side of the Sindh River for the purpose of
> > temporary shelters for the Amarnath pilgrims, the political parties in
> > Kashmir have opposed it tooth and nail on the pretext of environment
> > degradation.
> > The issue had deeply polarised the entire state. Politicians and other
> > organisations in Jammu see it as a deliberate move to suppress Hindu
> > identity and communalisation in the region. "When 10,000 trees were cut
> > the habitat of the wild Markhor destroyed for the reconstruction of the
> > Mughal Road, no one said anything but when SASB wanted to set up
> > shelters for two months only, there was an uproar," Dr Nirmal Singh,
> > national executive & former state president of the BJP said.
> > The PDP, National Conference and other parties were playing with fire by
> > communalising the whole issue of the Amarnath Yatra and opposing the
> > decision to transfer 800 kanals of land to SASB for creating facilities
> > pilgrims, he added. To prevent environmental destruction due to the work
> > the Mughal Road, a Kashmir-based NGO, Bio-diversity Conservation Trust
> > gone to Supreme Court arguing that construction work would affect the
> > region's biodiversity and the movement of wild animals, especially the
> > Markhor goat.
> > The Wild Markhor is on IUCN's Red List of highly endangered wild animals
> > is also named in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the
> > Jammu Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act, 1978 (amended in 2002).
> > But in the case of SASB, the transfer of 800 kanals (40 hectares) of
> > land was no issue at all. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board had assured
> > government that it would take all possible environmental safeguards in
> > consultation with the State Pollution Control Board to ensure that no
> > is caused to the ecology of the area. "The SASB camping sites did not
> > involve any area of Thajwas Wild Life Sanctuary, which is located on the
> > left side of River Sindh. The Shrine Board had to use prefabricated
> > structures for the camping purpose of the pilgrims and would not have
> > for construction of permanent structures," the Jammu and Kashmir chief
> > minister Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad had pointed out.
> > Raising a few pertinent questions, Dr Singh asked as to why no hue and
> > was raised when the Mufti government transferred over 5,000 kanals of
> > land to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University at Rajouri which also
> > the environment badly. No one uttered a single word then.
> > "Besides, Sharda Peeth university project was scuttled whereas government
> > gave free land to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University project and also
> > land was transferred to Islamic University at Awantipora in South
> > adds Dr Agnishekhar, president, Panun Kashmir. People in Jammu believe
> > all this points to the complete cleansing of the last vestiges of Hindu
> > presence in the valley.
> > "The protagonists of this vicious tirade dub the holy Amarnath Yatra as a
> > cultural invasion of Kashmir affecting its ecology, cultural identity and
> > demography. Whatever ecological damage Kashmir has suffered is as a
> > of illegal felling of trees by land mafia in connivance with corrupt
> > administration over the years," said Dr Agnishekher adding the systematic
> > reclamation of water bodies and continuous flow of waste materials into
> > lakes like the famous Dal lake and uncontrolled construction activity has
> > resulted in much more ecological damage than the Amarnath pilgrimage.
> > "An environmental impact assessment report to the Jammu and Kashmir
> > Pollution Control Board regarding the Mughal Road clearly said that it
> > cut through 67 hectares of the Hirpora sanctuary disturbing the habitat
> > the Markhor. The cutting of many trees would have a cascading effect on
> > associated biota. Besides, traffic on the road may cause death of many
> > animals that utilise verge habitats or try to cross the road. The
> > of motor vehicles may introduce the potential for contamination of soil,
> > and water adjacent to the road and in the case of surface water, well
> > the immediate surroundings. Chronic contamination may become a problem
> > animal species, especially those at the top of the food chain.why there
> > no public outcry then," asks Dr Agnishekher.
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