There is a present outcry from environmentalists and citizens stating that the Uttarakhand Disaster is a manmade disaster and not a natural disaster inflicted by the government by its reckless cutting of trees causing the tragic glacial burst leading to massive floods in Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
Eight months ago, the villagers at Chamoli, where the flash flood occurred now, petitioned the government against cutting trees for a 10-kilometer road, but they did not hear their pleas.
What occurred on Sunday was catastrophic and the events were as follows: A piece of a Himalayan glacier fell into the rushing river and triggered a massive flood in Chamoli. The floodwaters burst open a dam and an overflowing of water surged through the valley. The avalanche struck at about 11 am, destroying the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project Dam. Police, troops, doctors and assistants, paramilitaries, and military helicopters have been sent to the region to help with rescue efforts.
Most of the 200 missing are believed to be workers from two hydropower plants in the area, 19 bodies recovered, 40-50 are stuck in a tunnel, 16 rescued, and many more are feared washed away. There’s a possibility of remaining people being swept away by the floods.
Barkha Dutt, journalist reports how the mountain roads are dug up and denuded.
Managed to get out of scary fog only to find ourselves constantly stuck every few miles on 16 hour journey between Delhi and Joshimath. There is rampant construction everywhere. The mountains are dug up and denuded. And heading to report #UttarakhandDisaster feels like deja vu pic.twitter.com/pEY8HHplHs
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) February 8, 2021
Deforestation causes irreparable damages to the top layers of soil on the hills and causes loosening of soil that had resulted in landslides.
By blasting the mountainous hills with dynamite for new constructions, it is inevitable that floods, cyclones, earthquakes, and other catastrophes occur. Environmentalists earlier had warned the government about messing with the fragile ecology of the Himalayas.
This is a picture revealing how the government is cutting hills vertically to make roads and throwing the muck into the river, which is a wrong approach to making hill roads and a clear violation of rules.
The New York Times reported, “The disaster raised fears of what is to come: Scientists, who said the breaking of a glacier in the middle of the winter appeared to be a result of climate change, have warned that rising temperatures are melting the Himalayan glaciers at an alarming pace.” A recent study found that the glaciers, which supply water to tens of millions of people, could be mostly gone by the end of the century.
This calamity would affect the entire world as the Himalayan Rivers serve almost 1 billion people directly and the Indo-Gangetic plains one of the most fertile agricultural lands in the world. It is estimated almost 70% of the glaciers would be melted before 2030. The result would be something disastrous never faced in the history of the Earth.
Dynamiting, drilling, digging, and ripping up Earth for mammoth ambitions is going to cost us all heavily. Nothing right now is stopping governments from dabbling with the natural ecology of the environment. Very few are even considering its serious implications. The price we will pay will be terrible times for the young people and their generations universally.
In the words of one man, he said, “Might as well stop talking about climate change. Nothing will be done. Governments and their people are too concerned about other crap to take it seriously. It’s a wrap for us.”
As many know, we have to work with natural disasters but manmade disasters can be avoided.