Srinagar: Terming the protection of natural resources and environment as inevitable for the survival and prosperity of future generations, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq Friday said while we may be focused on our freedom struggle we cannot lose sight of the importance of preserving and protecting our environment and natural resources.
Addressing a Friday gathering at historic Jamia Masjid, he said, As the world observes the world environment day, our natural resources including glaciers, forests, rivers and water are getting depleted due to which abnormal changes are witnessed in the climate and other natural phenomenon in Kashmir leading to calamities like floods, flash floods ,landslides and incessant rains. Due to our greed, callousness and ignorance our natural heritage of Dal and Wular lake has shrunk and gotten polluted and illegal construction on the peripheries of these lakes is adding to the woes.
As a people who are proud to owe this heritage, we have to admit our role and responsibility in their destruction and the neglect we show to our environment. Deforestation, construction of houses on agricultural land, filling up of flood channels, marshes and drains, polluting of water bodies unplanned construction have all contributed to the environmental situation we are in today, he said.
Mirwaiz said that equally responsible for our environmental woes are the successive “democratically elected governments in Kashmir who have shown absolute callousness by having no policy or vision with regard to protecting the environment and are guilty of allowing our natural resources to be plundered and exploited by New Delhi.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman said that before 1947, as a nation we were self sufficient depending very little on imports. But post 1947 there has been a deliberate shift, as we have become more and more dependent on imports and our production in all spheres is going down.
As a nation we need to take stock and understand why this is happening and how we are contributing to this scenario and how can we change it, he said.
Expressing surprise at the statement of Union MoS Jetendera Singh wherein he said that Amarnath Yatra can continue all year through Mirwaiz said, Such an utterance reflects a hegemonic ,arrogant and anti Kashmir mindset with a clear view to show dominance and supremacy and scant concern for the fragile ecology of the region. It is quiet telling that while in many places in India, pilgrimage durations are rightly being curtailed due to environmental reasons in Kashmir the reverse is proposed!
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