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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Clear demarcation of ridge is the first step, say experts

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 20, 2012
First Published: 01:12 IST(20/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:41 IST(20/11/2012)

Experts feel that all is not lost and that there are several steps one can still take to save the ridge.

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Sustainable land use, putting a stop on the destruction of the habitat and increasing forest cover as a carbon sink (an area that absorbs carbondioxide; e.g. forests, oceans, etc.) are some of the steps that can be taken to save Delhi's ridge area.

"But before anything, a survey needs to be done for clear demarcation and notification of the ridge," said Diwan Singh of the Ridge Bachao Andolan.

While the Delhi Development Authority has already taken a positive step by developing the 'Aravali Biodiversity Park', experts feel much remains to be done.  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/20-11-pg4b.jpg

"The toothless Ridge Management Board needs to be given powers to punish violators and encroachers," said environmentalist Pradip Krishen.

Manoj Misra, a former forest officer, had a different take. "No effort has been made to identify the northern most tip of the ridge, part of the oldest physical structure. It can be marketed for educational and tourism purposes."

The ridge comprises mostly quartzite rocks, exposed in several areas due to quarrying over the years. There needs to be a revaluation of management of such natural resources. Singh suggested active involvement of citizens, especially youth, for conservation efforts.

In one of his research papers 'Climate Change: Evaluation of Ecological Restoration of Delhi Ridge Using Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies', JNU’s Madan Mohan suggested declaring the ridge area as a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. He also suggested using modern survey techniques such as Remote Sensing and GIS for demarcation and notification.

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