Save Uttarakhand from becoming smog-filled like Delhi: Ruskin Bond urges ahead of polls
Whichever party comes to power, it needs to save Uttarakhand from becoming smog-filledindia Updated: Jan 10, 2017 11:03 IST
I have spent most of my life in Mussoorie and Dehradun. When Uttarakhand was formed (on November 9, 2000), people here were full of hope… looking forward to future with a lot of optimism. Sixteen years down the lane, most of those dreams are yet to come true!
I don’t see political parties having done much to fulfil the people’s aspirations. In fact, I don’t find a great deal of difference between different parties, except for some ideological differences that they have.
I’m disturbed at the way Uttarakhand has developed haphazardly over the years. Successive governments have grossly neglected its environmental issues.
Today, you see whole blocks of concrete buildings at spots which used to boast of lovely orchards, verdant gardens and sprawling agricultural fields. Air, soil and noise pollution are rising rapidly, not just in the plains but also in the mountains of Uttarakhand. Not to talk of poor sanitation and sewage disposal.
Whichever party comes to power, it needs to save Uttarakhand from becoming smog-filled like cities such as Delhi.
Having spent so many years here up in the mountains, I am pained to see that there are hardly any doctors or quality medicines available in the hills. Patients from remote areas are forced to travel long distances for basic healthcare. Why have we failed to ensure that even after so many years of the state’s formation? Urgent efforts need to be made for the sake of the health of the general public.
One more thing that worries me is the lack of support by the government for art and culture. I’ve met many aspiring writers and artists in the the state but nothing much has been done by the successive governments to promote those involved in art.
One expects changes over the time and change must come. It’s just that sometimes the change is for the better and sometimes not. I can only pray that may god bless the future government and help it realise the dreams, wishes and aspirations which the people of Uttarakhand harboured at the time of the state’s formation.
(As told to Neha Pant)
First Published: Jan 10, 2017 11:02 IST