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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tree-felling in the name of development: depriving the poor of their resources

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Ever since man started living on earth he has been cutting trees and clearing forests. Now that he has been developed or developing, he has been at the cost of trees and forests. Agricultural expansion, mineral exploration from land, housing, construction of roads and rail-tracts and their expansion etc and urbanization – all has been brought about at the cost of trees and forests.
Laws have been framed, and implemented, and are being implemented to protect trees and forests. But laws are stretchable like rubber or metals. Laws can be stretched and holes can be made through them. This is how democracy goes.

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As for India, development is must. Those who have already developed need not do anything further. However, they are still restless. When the matter of global warming comes before nations, their real dedication for humanity and life on this planet is exposed. Now that development is must for us, we must do anything for development, we can also do anything in the name of development too, and so we do most often. The only care we must take, is the care of my, his, her, ours etc.

Urban expansion, like implementation of mega projects, grabs huge areas of lands including crop fields, orchards, settlements of poor most of whom remain tribals, and those belonging to Scheduled castes, minorities  and the like in the names of whom our governments are formed these days. But what of that? Poor like clay, can be molded in any form and shape. They understand what they are made to. They are made to understand that their resources are utilized for their own development or so, and they understand it properly. They are still not so literate or educated. Literate they must be, so as to become vulnerable to understand that their children get mid day meal, their senior citizens receive old age pensions, and their wives can know about schemes for their welfare. Educated, they need not become. They should remain as God has made them. God! Ugh. In the same spirit our education system is moving now. Put a support near a plant, it will become weak for life time (if it is not a twiner). Enrich the soil with balanced nutrients in which it is growing, it will never need any support. We are adopting, probably the first policy. The poor can grow robust, strong, and intelligent and what not, if their resources are left with them and their development is not obstructed in any way. Don’t try to make them lifetime weak by damaging their immune systems. Anyway, we don’t have to talk on such difficult issues. Let us limit our talk to cutting of trees and clearing of forests only.

What time does a tree require to gain its complete shape? If a huge tree is cut can it be replaced through planting a new tree? Hundreds of mature trees were cut to develop four laned roads around Morabadi ground of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand (India). A noble officer had made arrangements of planting numerous plants around the ground. Plants were growing like children of poor tribals of Jharkhand. But, the new project of so called beautification of the ground ate away those young plants too. Had they been left, nature itself had reared them to develop into beautiful trees by now. But, how many trees have so far been planted in compensation of murder of those adult trees so far? None. So happens every time.Ecosensorium Lense presents a number of fresh images before you taken from a part of Ranchi. This is the face of legal tree felling, cutting, uprooting, damaging, torturing, crushing and what not!


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