Are we heading towards another Kedarnath in J&K?
As Chenab descends from Himachal and enters Jammu and Kashmir, it is dammed by even bigger projects operating, under construction or planned. Hydropower projects of close to 9000 MW in Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir; this is not the full list. According to the Central Electricity Authority, Projects totalling 4200 MW are planned in the 12thFive Year Plan while additional Projects for 2075 MW have been identified.
Do we have any account of what implications these dams will have on our ecosystem or are we conveniently waiting for a disaster similar to what occurred in Uttarakhand to happen in our state?
Illegal mining of stones from the riverbed using excavators is rampant. On paper, excavators aren’t allowed. Only chugaan or manual picking is permitted. Reports of illegal mining across River Ravi with 13 illegal stone crushers operating from Lakhanpur downstream to Jarai.
Untreated sewage flowing into the river is another problem. It pollutes the river, causing the riverbed to rise, leading to floods upstream and flash floods downstream.
The time has come to act immediately and take necessary steps than to keep on waiting for a disaster to happen in our state and then search for a solution.
By Ritika Pathania