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Activists demand right to live in harmony with Himalayas

Tribune News Service
Dehradun, September 9

Perturbed at the rampant exploitation of the Himalayas and the inherent dangers of lopsided development, activists, while observing Himalaya Day today, said that development that is counterproductive to the existence of the Himalayas was unacceptable to them.

They urged upon the government to pursue policies without undermining the identity of the Himalayas. “We demand the right to live in harmony with the Himalayas,” said Prof Virender Painuly, a social activist.

He said governments continued to be immune to the problems faced by the hill people. “They are the ones who were forced to leave their home and hearth when the Tehri dam was built. Every year, they have to face the fury of rain. Strangely, their concerns and welfare do not figure on the list of governments,” said Painuly.

Stressing on the need to observe Himalaya Day, Geeta Gairola, State Project Director, Mahila Samakhya, said over the years, governments only passed projects aimed at exploiting the natural wealth of the Himalayas. [more]