The Plundering of Natural Resources Goes Unabated. Alas!

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M Ashraf

Providence has bestowed us with many resources ofw which we are highly indebted to Him. Without these resources the life on this planet would have been very impossible. We do make use of these resources in gratis as we are not being charged for their utility. Since the beginning of life on this planet, mankind has been using these resources for his sustenance and survival.
However, with the advancement in science and technology there has been tremendous pressure on these resources. With the emergence of latest technologies these resources have lost their sanctity to a great extent. The industries directly or indirectly are taking a great toll on our virgin resources. These extort raw natural resources for the raw materials they required for the finished products.
Besides industrialization, the population explosion is also responsible for erosion of natural resources. The excess growth in population exerts a great pressure on our resources. Subsequently a huge chunk of forest land has been grabbed by unscrupulous elements. Not only forest lands but also the wet lands have not been spared. Moreover, in our rural areas, the lands meant for collective use of the community which in local parlance are called “Kacharie” lands have been grabbed by the unscrupulous and self willed elements by even with the mutilation of revenue records.
The countrymen of our rural pockets do chop down huge green trees of deodar in order to fulfill their cheap needs. They do chop them for timber and wood procurement. We do also witness the rural women folk venture our thick forest areas in order to fetch firewood. These women also plunder our forest resources by chopping down the young saplings.
As a result of these cheap activities by humans, the forest lands have become bald. The habitation of wild animals has been disturbed to a great extent. The incidents of conflicts between humans and wild animals have risen to an alarming level. When man started to encroach the habitats of wild animals they, in return, started to trespass the residential areas. This devastation of forest resources has a very unwholesome impact on our environment. It has led to a rise in global temperature. The green house gases have risen to an alarming level as they (gases) do not find enough sponge for their absorption. Our great Sufi saint and luminary, Hazrat Sheikh Noor u Din Wali (RA) has aptly remarked “An Pooshi Teli yel wan pooshi” which means that our agricultural produce is subservient to forests.
Apart from this plundering our flood channels, rivers and nullahs are also being disturbed of their natural flow and run. We do witness how sand mafia are exploiting these natural water body resources at the cost of their natural equilibrium. The excavations in rivers and nullahs make the embankments prone to cracks and collapse. In 2014, we witnessed devastating floods which were punitive in backlash of teasing with nature. Had the natural water channels and catchment areas not been occupied the devastation would have been controlled to a great extent.
It’s high time for the concerned not to allow the loot of our natural resources. The laws meant for the protection of our environment must be implemented in letter and spirit. Those indulging in plundering our resources must be dealt with an iron fist.

—The author can be reached at: mohd45679pp@gmail.com

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