Jammu & Kashmir and environmental challenges

Jammu & Kashmir and environmental challenges
Representational ImageSource: Pixabay

Every year 05 June is celebrated as world Environment Day and on this day the world review its previous performance and new programmers and policies with respect to conservation of the environment are being chalked out on the suggestions and recommendations placed by different environmentalist and accordingly efforts are made to implement these fresh policies and programmers in order to save the environment and correct the destruction caused mainly by humans and other factors. But the question arise are we really know the importance of this day and are we serious to wake-up on the massages which nature is sending us openly regarding the challenges which the environment is facing today. The answer is absolutely no because we are not even contributing any help towards the saving of our own surrounding environment and not engage ourselves in small activities to save the environment which at least is in our control.

We are aware with the fact that for human health air, water and food, medicine and natural disease resistance are the important things which are provided by healthy environment and these basic things which supports all life on earth effects directly human life, if any one element get disturbed but despite realizing the consequences we pay no heed individually or collectively to save the environment as we supposed that we are perhaps the last generation on this earth to live and therefore not deem it necessary to limit our demands on the environment and save or conserve any valuable part for the coming generations thus provide them the good environment to live.

In this context the territory of Jammu and Kashmir is also facing environmental challenges from last few decades at an alarming rates which includes deforestation, man-made disasters by increase in construction and transformation of forest land for agriculture and residential propose, pollution of fresh water, dumping of waste near water bodies or forest sites, which have resulted degradation of forests, drying of water sources, weather irregularity, soil erosion, flash floods and reduction of forest productity and if this damage was not corrected and the pressure which we have mounted on environment was not released the days are no longer away when we loss all what the nature has gifted this territory exclusively.

The resourceful territory is one of the prime and basic requirements of any State besides Population and Government are other elements. Since the territory of Jammu & Kashmir which possesses the mountain ecosystem is blessed with lush green coniferous forests cover which are the reservoirs of good quality timber where every year a huge quantity of timber is extracted from dry standing or fallen material after the ban on green felling was imposed on by SC and this timber after extraction and transportation from forest is put on sale which boost the economy of Jammu and Kashmir besides precious variety of flora and fauna, nutritious and palatable foods and different endangered forest herbs in form of natural ingredients are also available in wide range and utilization of these products in daily medicines has made the territory perpetually improving its economy and overall water resource which is available in shape of snow and glaciers and its flow though various rivers, tributaries and canals in all regions has made the territory self sufficient in generation of hydroelectric energy. The tourism is other sector for revenue generation as the moderate climate with beautiful sceneries and healthy destinations attracts the tourists to visit Jammu and Kashmir in large scale.

But this unsustainable and unrestrained use of natural resources for economic growth and development by Government on one side and population in general on the other side has caused the heavy environmental degradation in territory. The difference in demand what we sought from the natural recourses is too more than of its capacity and this uncontrolled demand for which these available forest recourses can’t stand has turned the various deep forest areas in naked sparse which are later used for residential or agricultural propose by inhabitants thus the forest areas is shirking day by day. Further the construction of roads for connectivity in forest areas has made the job of looting forest wealth more easy and this all has affected the unique gifted environment system of territory in several ways and now we are losing precious water bodies, biodiversity, forest ecosystem day by day besides serious problems like scarcity of water, soil and land degradation, loss in agriculture and horticulture cultivation, animal husbandry, lacking herbal medicines and shortage of valuable food products have also developed.

In the constitution of India the environmental protection is laid down in Directive Principles by assigning the duties of State and all its citizens though Article 48A and 51A to protract and improve the natural environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life in the country and to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lacks and rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for the living creatures.

Therefore the need of hour is to save the environment from further degradation and it is good time the government of Jammu and Kashmir should consider the specific rest of forests so that sparse and bare parts of forests may heal and grow again with full health and while accepting the policy the livelihood of those be safeguarded whose employment is concerned with forests by keeping them on protection and guard of forests. Secondly a vast plantation drive particularly in bare areas of forests is carried in hand every year on project basis with fencing for which small nurseries be expanded with indigenous species of plants with great outcome be developed in various areas by sister wings of Forest Department Thirdly the construction of roads in forest areas be restricted and only such connectivity be allowed which are necessary keeping in view of population of area and which cause the least damage of forest crops.

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