Welcome to the Archives

Endangered Uttarakhand

The new Government needs to give a sharp, critical look at the existing pattern of development

Hiranmay Karlekar
Daily Pioneer
June 28, 2007

The complaint was frequent and loud in 16th and 17th century England, “sheep are driving out men”. The reference was to the enclosure of arable land for sheep farming for wool, and the throwing out of peasants. In the 21st century, the cry in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district may well be, “men are driving out leopards and destroying trees”.

When we first bought land in Ramgarh, there were not many people from the plains around. The road in front of the house was a rough track, unpaved, cratered and littered with large stones. Cars had to be parked a couple of hundred metres away and people had to leg it for the rest. Now a cement concrete road stretches in front of the house, which is doubtless very convenient for us. But it symbolises a pattern of development, which raises questions. [more]