An accident occurred and everyone’s intellect became numb with the accident. It was earlier said that there was a sudden flood in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. But as the number of deaths increased and the list of missing people became longer, it was said in desperation that it was a deluge! For a long time, the cause was not known – someone was saying that the cloud has burst, some was saying that the glacier has slipped, someone felt that there was a landslide.
Experts have some pictures from the Uttarakhand Space Applications Center, to name a few. On the basis of these photos, it is being told why the Rishiganga river in the Chamoli district flooded. From the pictures presented in the interpretation of the devastation, you can understand how a large part of the frozen ice came down, slipped down how many heavy rocks of its path crushed and got into the Rishiganga river and The rising water combined with the rocks caused havoc in Chamoli district. With the help of photographs, you will know that before getting into Rishiganga, that catastrophic stream broke the bridge, hit the dam (Rishiganga Project 13 MW), latticed the 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugarh Project Barrage and settled on the banks of the Rishiganga River The entire village was burnt in minutes.
Dam and electricity
But Vibhisheka has missed a lot in trying to understand with the help of photographs. It is as if the gods have been traveling from Uttarakhand called Dev Bhoomi, that Dev Bhoomi has now turned into a land of building dams and power generation. In the last twenty years, there has been an uproar in Uttarakhand for hydropower projects. There are currently 98 hydroelectric projects in the state. In this regard, 350 dams have been signed within the last decade. Power plant projects are built in this mountainous state at great heights, stopping and changing the course of streams, the streams are passed through tunnels and turbines. And, in this sequence, the inner life flow of nature is interrupted, which has been living in the land of Devbhoomi for centuries in the ongoing battle of environment-protection vs. industrial development.
If you look at the story of the development of Uttarakhand in terms of electricity, then the matter will be more clear – the facts of Uttarakhand’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics (Uttarakhand at a Glance) show that 4663 million units of electricity in the state in the year 2018-19 Was produced. Domestic consumption of electricity was 2849 MU, commercial category consumption was 1298 MW and industrial category consumption was 6665 million units.
Just compare this figure with the figures of electricity generation and consumption in the state a decade ago. The state produced 4909 million units of electricity in the year 2010-11. The domestic consumption of electricity was 1484 MU, commercial category consumption was 941 MU and industrial category consumption was 4197 MU. That is, during almost a decade in the state, the consumption of household category of electricity has increased by more than two times and the commercial and industrial category consumption has increased by one and half times.
Consider the fact of environmental protection against this increase in power generation and consumption during a decade. If the measures being taken for the protection of the environment, it is known from how much the protected forest area in a state is getting depleted, then the figures of Uttarakhand will look terrible. According to the facts of the document named Uttarakhand at a Glance, in the year 2010-11, the area of protected category forest area in the state was 9885 square kilometers which decreased to just 154 square kilometers in 2018-19.
To estimate the impact of the development project on the fragile ecological balance of the state, consider the Chardham project for the construction of roads to connect the pilgrimage sites. In the year 2020, the Supreme Court had objected to the expansion of the widening road being constructed under this project due to environmental reasons, but by the time the road was built, 700 hectares of forest land and about 47 thousand trees had been destroyed.
History Repeats and Devbhoomi
In Uttarakhand, history is repeating itself in a very strange way. Man’s defence is in the defence of nature – by revealing this feeling, the claims of the Chipko Movement have become silent once again. Recall 2013 flood of Uttarakhand. Hundreds of villages flooded, tourists stranded on the road and resorts crumbling like cards in a huge stream of water. The claims of the Chipko movement are saying in a tone of warning that the people bent on tying Virat and healing the incurable! Beware of your primitive desire to conquer nature.
In 2013, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who had washed his plane with mineral water to go to Switzerland for a visit to these voices, was astounded like his father Hemvatinandan Bahuguna. Amid the ravages of the flood, he had said- “This is the havoc of nature, how can anyone handle it.” And, this time also it is being said in an astonishing voice that it is a deluge, efforts are being made to know whether a landslide occurred, the glacier melted, the cloud burst or the iceberg broke. We did not do anything, so what nature did – it is what it is.
Uttarakhand has so much as a heritage of culture that on its own, someone can give it the status of Devbhoomi and then turn this Devbhoomi into a market. The holy Ganges of Haridwar, Ganga Ghat and Ganga have their heart Gangotri-Yamunotri, many pilgrimages – many pilgrimages and even the path from above that leads you directly to Mansarovar – to the Mansarovar where Brahmakamal blooms and where Neer-Kshira is a prudent, mythical deity.
On the strength of this cultural splendour, the image of Uttarakhand as Dev Bhoomi has been created in this advertising time. This image was there earlier but this image was aggressively promoted in the years after liberalization. One proof of this is that if 1.17 lakh pilgrims reached Kedarnath in the year 1990, then ten years later, the number of people who visited Kedarnath increased to 2 lakh fifteen thousand and in the next ten years this number would be about three Gone. In 2012, 5 lakh 48 thousand pilgrims reached Kedarnath. But by 2019, due to the Chardham project, this picture had changed completely.
When the doors of Kedarnath Dham closed in 2019, the Chief Minister of the state, Trivendra Singh Rawat tweeted that more than 34 lakh 81 thousand pilgrims have reached Chardham and Hemkund Sahib. The number of pilgrims reaching Kedarnath Dham had reached 1 million. By November of 2019, Badrinath had visited 12.44 pilgrims. Yamunotri was visited by 4.65 lakh pilgrims and 5.30 lakh visited Gangotri. The number of devotees who reached Hemkund Sahib was 2.40 lakh.
Logic of economic development
On the basis of this wildly increasing number of pilgrims, should it be concluded that the urge for virtue is increasing continuously and that they are increasingly inaccessible by the religious spirit, which renounces self interest in the interest of the world? Leaving to find the solitude of the serene mind in the heights? No, this growing number of pilgrims is directly related to the economy that promotes raga and enjoyment, which is sweeping across the country and the wave that hit Uttarakhand after its formation.
The economy of Uttarakhand has made a big jump. The gross domestic product of this state was Rs 24786 crore in the year 2005, which increased to Rs 60898 crore in the year 2012. And, the Economic Survey (Uttarakhand) figures show that the state’s gross domestic product has increased to Rs 167 lakh crore in 2017-18 at current prices. The average annual gross domestic product of this state has been more than 10 percent in fifteen years.
The service sector accounts for more than 50 per cent of Uttarakhand’s GDP and foreign direct investment also grew significantly. The Reserve Bank estimates that between April 2000 and October 2009 of Uttarakhand, FDI was 40 million dollars. Just compare this picture with 2019-20. FDI inflows of $ 16.6 million in the state from October 2019 to September 2020. One can speculate as to where this FDI would have happened as the service sector in Uttarakhand has shrunk to tourism, information technology and higher education, and hydropower projects along with tourism contribute to its economy.
This economy creates new knowledge due to the expansion of service sector. This knowledge turns virtue into an object of adventure, a pilgrim to a tourist and a pilgrim to a place of tafriah. It is a mere sculpture to the deity, a mere architectural sculpture to a temple, a mere fountain of water to a river, a barrier to the way of a mountain and knowledge of the jungle to the frontier of civilization, stripping them of their life from all things, and making them primarily as objects of consumption. Converts into litter to be thrown into polythene. This knowledge assumes that the reality standing in front of him, whether it is tree-mountain-river-forest or any other living culture, is waiting for everyone to come and turn them, finally, into a tinkle of money.
Alas! Those who established the system that transformed the mountain into a place of devotion and a place of adventure would remember the legend of Kedarnath. It is said that after the Mahabharata, the Panch-Pandavas came out to Shiva-Darshan to wash away the sin of murder and murder. Shiva was unhappy with his sin, so if he did not meet in Kashi, the Pandavas decided to go to the Himalayas. When Shiva hid in Kedar and the Pandavas reached here, Shiva took the form of a bull and got into animals to avoid them. Bhima surrounded the mountain with both his huge legs spread. All the animals got out from under that spread leg, but Shiva wanted to hide here too. The legend says that Bhima then grabbed his back and his Shiva’s back was injured. The temple priests still remember this legend and bathe with ghee before worshipping them to cure Shiva’s back.
The economy promoting raga and bhoga has encircled the mountain between Bhima’s feet like Bhima and the back of the mountain is once again injured like Shiva. If anyone wants, Uttarakhand can hear the groan of the mountain in this deluge.