10th Jul 2018 12:07:AM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Another Van Mahotsava week celebrations are under way across the country including Arunachal Pradesh.  At this juncture, a look back into the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the country is pertinent. For over the last many decades the forest cover of the country has gone like a magician’s vanishing trick. It now stands at a dismal 21. 34 per cent, according to Government of India data. Arunachal Pradesh is no different.  A state which once boasted of the largest forest cover in the country has now been pushed to the second spot by Madhya Pradesh.

Over the last 30 years, Arunachal Pradesh has cleared the most forests covering an area of 3,338 square kilometers. Basically forests are cleared for mining, defence projects, industrialization as well as for settlements to accommodate increasing urban population. Not to forget big hydel power projects. When taken into account, no such things are happening in Arunachal Pradesh; therefore it is surprising why such vast areas of forest cover have been cleared in the state. Furthermore, we cannot pooh-pooh the looming threat of more destruction of forests when most of the proposed mega hydel power projects in the state start construction activities.

Coming back to the Van Mahotsava celebrated as an annual ritual of planting of saplings— a government-sponsored “compensatory afforestation,” the moot question is whether it has helped in increasing our forest cover or not. Media frenzy and excitement surrounding its celebration is overwhelming with politicians, people at the helm of affairs and school children dirtying their hands by planting saplings. However the enthusiasm is short lived and fizzles out once the week ends with saplings forgotten and left to die a natural death.

Moreover, is compensatory afforestation the answer to large-scale denudation of the forests which sustain rich flora and fauna millions of years old many of which are still a mystery to mankind.

By afforestation we can grow trees over a period of time if the momentum is sustained. But that will not bring back the lost flora many of which can be useful for the well-being of human beings. When we destroy forests, we destroy our future generations too.


Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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