Demands Government should put in place preventive strategies and schemes against sinking and subsidence of lands in Jammu & Kashmir.
The “Group of Concerned Citizens” (GCC) J&K, a non-political civil society initiative, has asked the Government to put in place preventive strategies and schemes against sinking and subsidence of lands in Jammu & Kashmir.
In a Memorandum addressed to the Chief Secretary, Dr A.K.Mehta, the GCC has highlighted rising risks of land sinking and subsidence in different parts of J&K , in the wake of spurt in cuttings and excavations in mountainous terrains, in connection with Railway, Highway, Expressway and PMGSY Projects .
The Memorandum cites reports of soil erosion, subsidence, denudation, landslides and avalanches periodically from different Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajori, Poonch , Ganderbal, Bandipur, Baramula , Kupwara and Budgam Districtspointing to potential “fault-lines and the underlying factors that need to be tackled in right earnest”.
The Group has expressed serious concern on the increasing frequency of landfalls, sliding and subsidence along the National Highways in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban Districts, taking a heavy toll of life and property and asserted that, for most part, Kareva and Kandi belts across J&K continued to be festering flashpoints.
Urging the Government to create a strong base of scientific data , the GCC has made some specific suggestions for the Government to consider to prevent disasters like Kedarnath and Joshimath. These include :–
● working a more imaginative and inclusive model of sustainable development, as a matter of basic policy, rather than one of random and rampant constructions which would appear to be so, more often , as of now.
● All Projects to have a rigorous and reliable ‘ Environmental Impact Assessment’ as a pre- qualification for clearance.
● increased focus on PROTECTION of ecologically sensitive/ fragile tourist destinations, trekking routes, pilgrimage sites etc., like, for instance, Shri Mata VaishnoDevi Yatra (Katra), Shri AmarNath Ji Yatra, Sudh Mahadev, Surensar, Mansar, Sonamarg–Baltal, Tarsar-Marsar, Pahalgam , Affarvat, Gulmarg , Baba Reshi ,
Dodhpathri,Tossa Maidan, Bungus Valley.
● specially designed , eco-friendly policy and other interventions for environmentally-sensitive sites and spots.
● strict enforcement of the ban on construction of roads through forests and on conversion of demarcated forest areas to non-forest use.