[Reader-list] What Mughal Road didn't that shrine land-transfer plans did
Shivam Vij शिवम् विज्
mail at shivamvij.com
Mon Jun 30 21:22:38 IST 2008
I was commenting on the article, I didn't even know your views.
On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 9:11 PM, Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com>
> 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > cultural invasion of Kashmir affecting its ecology, cultural identity
>> > 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
>> > reclamation of water bodies and continuous flow of waste materials into
>> > lakes like the famous Dal lake and uncontrolled construction activity
>> > 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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