Sunday, 5 June 2016

World Environment Day

World Environment Day
Today was World Environment Day but what have we done. Celebrated it by sending posts on Facebook and Twitter. Of course many people have planted trees too but it all depends upon nature to now sustain them for the future generations. But I am confused by what the authorities are doing, or not doing about the environment, giving permissions left, right and centre to cut trees everywhere. Outside the cities, jungles are being cut for railways and roadways in the name of development. No one is against development but there are ways to reduce cutting of trees. It can be done by building overhead expressways or overhead railroads. This has already been demonstrated during the building of the Konkan Railway. But while expanding the Mumbai Goa Highway, so many trees have faced the axe. Could it have been avoided? Maybe…
I am staying in Thane. The roads  in Thane are being widened and you guessed it right…trees have been cut to enable this. These trees…or the stumps that remain have been re-planted along the newly widened roads and they are being watered daily by employing water tankers and luckily for us we see new leaves on these stumps which bodes well for the future. Some of these stumps have also been re-planted in parks with the same positive results. But for every such lucky tree, there are 2-3 stumps which are not bearing new leaves. Perhaps another idea would have worked where the trees would have been left in their original positions and roads were constructed around them. Even in cities like Almaty in Kazakistan, I have seen wide roads, but trees in full bloom stand on islands of virgin ground left in the middle which divide two to three lanes in the same direction. This is my strong suggestion to the roadworks authorities to think on these lines in the future, when planning further road widening works.
The World Environment Day will be most successful when man starts thinking of the environment from the point of view of the entire spectrum of species on earth and not the narrow blinkers of the human race alone. And to make a real difference, a day in a year is not enough, but few consecutive environmental years are needed. Or we will not be leaving a very habitable planet for our children.
Yatindra Tawde

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