THE SUNDAY STORY

The unbridled approach to exploitation of mountain resources has contributed to the Uttarakhand disaster, say experts. Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director-General, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi: “There is a connection between deforestation, construction, and the property of soil to retain water. Dams and other constructions reduce the absorbing capacity of soil.”

Prof. Maharaj K. Pandit, researcher, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi: “Dams cannot be solely held responsible for the situation in Uttarakhand. Urbanisation, tourism and religious pilgrimage are other reasons. That dams aggravate the situation is a fact, but they are not the only reason.”

Ravi Chopra, member, National Ganga River Basin Authority: “Fissures in mountains are a source of springs, providing water to villages in hills. But tunneling of rivers has dried up these sources and tunnel leaks make soil loose.”

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