Reckless spree – Authorities must heed science and people living near mines, dams

Source: The post is based on the article “Reckless spree – Authorities must heed science and people living near mines, dams” published in The Hindu on 12th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Disaster and disaster management.

Relevance: About protecting Hilly areas.

News: The land subsidence in Joshimath has highlighted geological disasters that have in fact manifested across India.

What are the other geological disasters?

There have been reports of land subsidence from a) Jharia, Bhurkunda, Kapasara, Raniganj and Talcher coal mines, b) Delhi and Kolkata due to the over-extraction of groundwater, and c) Mehsana for hydrocarbons.

The land in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, began to sag shortly after a hydroelectric power project began test runs in the region.

Heavy rains in Aizawl triggered subsidence, exposing poor zoning enforcement and oversight of the regional carrying capacity.

Read more: Who Tunnels Through A Sinking Town?
What should be done to prevent further ecological disasters?

Accept scientific findings: Scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Geophysical Research Institute set out to examine the circumstances of the subsidence in Joshimath. Both the national and the State governments must agree to the team’s findings, even if it means ceasing further construction work.

Repair and restore: The government must undertake whatever repair and restoration efforts it is undertaking at Joshimath at all the other sites as well.

Must read: A mountain reeling under human aggression

There is an argument to allow economically developing countries to emit more before becoming carbon-neutral. But that does not mean the government can plunder natural resources at the cost of climate justice.

 

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