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Monday, March 16, 2009

Hyderabad on the Rocks!

Millions of years in the making....smoothened and polished to perfection by the ravages of the elements. Cradling the cycle of life on a miniature scale in its nooks and crannies. And a mute witness to the birth of a city, its growth, its political turmoil, and again fast paced heady rediscovery and growth of the modern times! And then the silent bystanders were blasted away..silenced forever exposing in its place, ugly scars which tell no tales. Yes...the city is growing, its roads are widening but environment is being held ransom!

The unique grey-black granite structures which lend Hyderabad a distinct spot in the geological map of the world and has rendered a rustic awe-inspiring charm to the city’s landscape are what I am talking about. They are almost like pieces of abstract art and are a sheer delight to the eyes. However, insensitivity to the heritage nature has bestowed on us, a nefarious greed to encash on the real estate boom of the last few years and frenzied and unplanned growth of the city, has resulted in destruction of these beautiful rock structures which dotted the terrain of this city...located right in the heart of the Deccan Plateau. In most places what remain are skeletons of the erstwhile beauties....ugly quarries in place of natural splendours.

Geologists say that these are amongst the oldest and hardest rock formations in the world dating back to 2500 million years ago!!! The Government has woken up after the mass destruction is almost over to ‘protect’ a handful of the more prominent structures. But what about the other not-so-prominent, yet fine pieces of nature’s artwork? Just last month one such structure, right in front of my daughter’s school was blasted away to make way for a palatial concrete atrocity!

I am all for growth. I, like millions of my countrymen, want to see India at the pinnacle of success…as a leader of the world. But at the same time, I want my country to retain, nurture and cherish the bounty of nature that we are blessed with. Economic development will cease to happen in a country indifferent towards social and ecological responsibility. Our insensitivity towards ecology, lack of basic civic sense, a growing disparity between the haves and have-nots are not what leaders of the world ought to be. A balance must be sought. Where material progress, infrastructure growth happens… but not at the graveyard of ecosystem equilibrium.

12 comments:

SAPTARSI DEV said...

it is very much relevant to what is happening to all the big cities in india. the post is even more relevant today than ever before!!

naperville mom said...

Beautiful post, SGD... And a brilliant title!

I'm all for nature conservation and these rock're pure delights, miracles carved on earth thanks to the relentless chemical reactions in the natural environment. But in India, the population is so demandingly high that it automatically reigns supreme. Everything else becomes marginalized. Maybe, the sagging economy'll put some brakes onto the real estate boom, and the resultant destruction of naturals. But either way, it's a delicate dance. Great read again, SGD:)

SGD said...

@NM-You're right ..a delicate balance is a must to pave way for development and yet keep our environment in its pristine form. And thanks so much for your words...coming from you...I am indeed honoured and humbled!

@SD-I know....my heart breaks each time I see these beauties destroyed

Pradip Biswas said...

This is the problem of mining affecting the environment. When mining lease is granted the party doing the mining has to provide a land for afforestation to counter deforestation. But we have to think that a part of the mineral wealth is to be used also knowing that the mineral that is taken away can not be grown. So to some extent it can not be helped. The optimised use of mineral wealth and innovation for substitution may be the only answar.

Jeet said...

Well put up... it is really sad how we conveniently ignore the environment for technology / convenience. And then probably cry over things like global warming, etc.

Kavi said...

On the rocks !!

What a title !! Brilliant.

But this has been a deep malaise across the globe. And as Friedman wrote the other day on NYT, we have been living far too beyond our means...

This is one more example.

SGD said...

@PB- Tell me, what is the environmental & ecological effect of these rampant destruction? Is there any long term change in climatic conditions?

@Jeet - you're right...it;s only after the harm is done, that all 'movements' to protect begin!!

@Kavi...thanks! We have...and that;s such a tragedy. Have you come across a ppt presentation (supposedly created by APJ Kalam) on the hypothetical future of the earth? It's scary but maybe possible, considering the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources happening today..

nsiyer said...

Extremely well written and your post evokes a lot of anger in me when we see destruction of the environment in front of our eyes. Just was at Hyderabad on 16th and actually noticed the massacre that has happened in the last two years.

Pristine beauty of Hyderabad is being smashed to smithereens.Our times may pass but what about the future generations. We need Lord Krishna to resurrect again - Sambhavami Yuyge Yuge.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

great title! Its is really sad but environment as always taken the backseat in this overpopulated country of ours.

SGD said...

@NS Iyer....Can understand your anger. I too feel the anger and am horrified at news headlines stating the chopping of 100-200 yr old trees in and around the city in the name of 'GROWTH'!!!

@Roshni-true overpopulation is indeed a genuine cause but our callousness & indifference adds to it all...that's the greatest tragedy. We just dont make an effort to preserve...

Pradip Biswas said...

If the prescribed Environment Management Plan(EMP) is not followed the destructive effect shall be intensive. Although all mining companies are to submit and get their EMP approved many do not implement it and avoid punishment. The punishments too arenot very rigorous.

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