Tunnel cave-in: Dire need to address ecological concerns - The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Tunnel cave-in

Dire need to address ecological concerns

Tunnel cave-in

A massive rescue operation involving several agencies has been in progress for the past 10 days on the Char Dham route in Uttarakhand. - PTI file photo



A massive rescue operation involving several agencies has been in progress for the past 10 days on the Char Dham route in Uttarakhand. At stake are the lives of 41 labourers, who were trapped when a portion of a tunnel being built between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed on November 12. The first visuals of the workers, showing them receiving food items sent through a pipeline, have raised the hopes of their families and the entire nation. Even as the priority is to evacuate all of them at the earliest, the cave-in is a grave reminder of the perils of construction in ecologically sensitive areas of the Himalayas.

Experts have red-flagged the concerns which need to be addressed urgently in order to prevent recurrence of such incidents. According to environmentalist Ravi Chopra, who had resigned last year as the chairman of a Supreme Court-appointed high-powered committee on the Char Dham all-weather road, sustainable development demands an approach that is geologically as well as ecologically sensible. Questions are also being raised about the methods being used for road-widening and their impact on the stability of the slopes.

The projects under the Char Dham programme include measures to stabilise ‘chronic landslide and sinking spots/zones’ so as to avert landslips and ensure the safety of road users. However, the Silkyara incident has laid bare gaps in the implementation of these steps. A thorough probe needs to be conducted in order to fix accountability; this should be followed by the preparation of a foolproof roadmap to plug the loopholes and strictly enforce environmental norms. Earlier this year, land subsidence in Joshimath had served as a wake-up call for various stakeholders, including hoteliers, local residents and the authorities. Tourism is a major source of revenue for Uttarakhand, but ignoring the ecological and human cost of haphazard development work aimed at increasing the footfall is nothing but a recipe for disaster. 

#Char Dham #Hindus #Uttarakhand


Top News

ED arrests retired Chhattisgarh IAS officer Anil Tuteja in liquor ‘scam’ case

ED arrests retired Chhattisgarh IAS officer Anil Tuteja in liquor ‘scam’ case

The Central agency had detained 2003 batch officer Tuteja in...

Students with 4-year undergraduate degrees can now directly pursue PhD if they have 75% marks: UGC chief

Students with 4-year bachelor's degrees, 75% marks can directly pursue PhD: UGC

So far, a candidate for the National Eligibility Test needed...


Cities

View All