Terming the recent calamity in Uttarakhand as a man-made disaster, activist Medha Patkar has said it is time to rethink the concept of development.
“This disaster has been caused by unplanned development. It is the result of mindless misuse of the state’s natural resources. The dams, barrages and tunnels built in the name of hydel projects have impacted the course of the rivers which led to the tragedy,” Ms. Patkar told reporters on her return from flood-hit areas of Kedarghati on Wednesday.
She said the authorities need to learn lessons from this colossal calamity and revise their concept of development in the hills.
She also demanded that the valley where the Ganga, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers flow should be declared an eco-sensitive zone.
Ms. Patkar also asked the Centre to prepare a policy to give economic security to people whose livelihood was linked to tourism and the chardham yatra.