Solan: In the wake of heavy rains and devastating floods, the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas has faced a severe blow, highlighting the consequences of unbridled greed and neglect. The article “Kullu ravaged” sheds light on the horror, misery, destruction, and loss of life caused by the reckless construction of multistoried hotels along the banks of the river Beas. The relentless pursuit of profit by hoteliers, without considering the delicate balance between ecology and economy, has proven disastrous.
Over the past five decades, rampant construction activities on the sloping hills and riverbanks have disrupted the natural harmony of the region, leaving it vulnerable to environmental catastrophes. The recent calamity in Shamti, Solan (H.P.), where many houses collapsed due to unmanaged water flow, further emphasizes the dire consequences of ignoring geological strata and constructing without caution.
The changing pattern of rainfall, characterised by short and intense spells, has also become a cause for concern. The well-defined seasons of autumn, summer, and winter are now blurred, replaced by overlapping periods of climatic conditions. These erratic weather patterns have led to unprecedented floods and landslides, inundating cities and causing loss of life and property.
As we bear witness to the devastating events of 2023, it becomes evident that this environmental recklessness cannot continue. Nature’s wrath serves as a stern reminder that our actions have consequences, and a lack of planning and foresight can result in dire outcomes. The drowning of Delhi and the landslides in hill areas should be a wake-up call for all.
While acknowledging the need for immediate solutions, we must recognise that temporary fixes driven by human ingenuity may only offer short-term relief. For a sustainable future, a comprehensive approach that prioritises ecological conservation over unchecked development is imperative.
Chancellor of Shoolini University, Prof P K Khosla urges a united effort to face this neo challenge. He emphasises that the path to recovery lies in finding a delicate balance between ecology and economy, where sustainable practices and responsible development go hand in hand. Only through collective action, foresight, and a commitment to preserving the natural wonders of the Himalayas can we secure a safer and more resilient future for generations to come. (The author is the Chancellor of Shoolini University).