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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Kerala blunder being repeated in Haryana

Kerala’s unforgivable error is being repeated in Haryana, where the government is amending the Punjab Land Preservation Act, excluding a chunk of the Aravallis from protection, making it available for real estate and similar development.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2019 23:52 IST
Bharati Chaturvedi
Despite the report of respected scientist Madhav Gadgil, these essential forests were systematically violated and interest groups successfully lobbied for their further clearing for agriculture and even, real estate.
Despite the report of respected scientist Madhav Gadgil, these essential forests were systematically violated and interest groups successfully lobbied for their further clearing for agriculture and even, real estate.(Corbis via Getty Images)
         

Science as we learn it in University and labs is an essential tool to protect the environment. Such science is being mocked and trodden over. Remember the Indian Science Congress this year? We also see it in environmental decision making. I cannot think of a better case than Kerala’s Western Ghats. Despite the report of respected scientist Madhav Gadgil, these essential forests were systematically violated and interest groups successfully lobbied for their further clearing for agriculture and even, real estate. It was later understood that the ferocious floods that followed could have been less harmful had the advice of Prof Gadgil been implemented.

Kerala’s unforgivable error is being repeated in Haryana, where the government is amending the Punjab Land Preservation Act, excluding a chunk of the Aravallis from protection, making it available for real estate and similar development. The irony is that this 119-year-old Act was created to prevent soil erosion. The Aravallis have been repeatedly violated.

Policy must humbly learn not only from past errors but also, from science.

Bharati Chaturvedi (Founder and Director Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)

First Published: Feb 17, 2019 23:52 IST

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