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The union minister of home affairs Raj Nath Singh today released the book on Jaunsaar Bhavar and Ranvaai Jaunsaar ( Samaaj, Sanskriti, Vaastushilp aur Paryatan) authored by literateur and writer Dr. Hema Uniyal at his residence in New Delhi. Prominent amongst those present on this ocassion were the former minister in Uttarakhand government Narayan Singh Rana, Sr journalist and President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum, Sunil Negi, literateur and General Secretary, Garhwal Hitaishini Sabha Dr. Pawan Maithani, theatre activist, Khushal Singh Rawat and RP Uniyal. After releasing this 230 page book comprising of various facets of the Jaunsaar Ravaain culture, traditions, architecture, way of life, tourism and ancient spiritual beliefs, Home minister Rajnath Singh while congratulating Dr. Hema Uniyal for her untiring research work and dedicated efforts to bring forth such a significant book said , he is highly optimistic that this valuable book highlighting the hidden aspects of the enriched culture, magnificient architecture, spiritual beliefs and ancient traditions of Jausaar Bhavar and Ranvaai would greatly contribute in accquainting the people of the country and the world to boost tourism and socio cultural integration in Uttarakhand and elsewhere. It may be recalled that Hema Uniyal is a prolific writer who’d undertaken a deep research work for several months, personally visiting various villages in the distant interiors of Jausar Bhavar and Ranvaai Jaunsar and meeting people to have an indepth knowledge about various aspects of the historical facts and life style of the inhabitants of Jaunsar and Ranvain and ably portraying the cultural, linguistic, societal, architectural and spiritual fecets in her outstanding book. Prior to this publication she also has to her credit two extraordinay books titled Kedar Khand and Manas Khand giving the detailed and indepth researched version of the various historical temples situated in Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand compounded with pictures of these ancient temples. The union home minister Rajnath Singh also congratulated the translator of the Book “Hevoc in Heaven” Sunil Negi, senior journalist, who presented a copy of the book to him published about two years ago based on the Uttarakhand disaster of 2013.

Crime

Maneater attacks continue unabatedly in UTTARAKHAND VILLAGES

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On the one hand the jungles of Uttarakhand are on incessant fire, causing collosal loss to wildlife and the flora and fauna including the environment of the Uttarakhand hills, on the other hand the spree of man eater attacks on human lives is shockingly and anguishingly on with no sign of any end to this dreaded menace.

The inefficient forest department of Uttarakhand already devoid of sufficient staff has proved to be a complete failure till now and so are those sitting at the helm at the political and administrative levels.

According to sources though not fully confirmed about 150 leopards, tigers and panthers have become maneater and have created hovoc in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and Kumaon regions thus not only terrorising the inhabitants of the interior villages but also affecting the tourist influx .

In the past six months, several incidents of dreaded man eater attacks have come to light killing women, children n senior citizens. But there had been no efforts from the side of the Forest department to reduce such incidents of man eater attacks.

Just a few days ago two children had been brutally killed by these maneaters/ predators in Kumaon and several others in Pauri Garhwal district.

Similarly the incidents of wild bear attacks are also on the rise, particularly in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

The photograph below is of a hard lucked man of Chowbattakhal Tehsil in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand where this innocent villager aged 65 years, namely Virendra Prasad Sundriyal, resident of village Sundrai, Kulkanddhidh was brutally killed by the man eater leopard near a bus shed on road side where the latter was sitting clandestinely in search of the prey.

The mutilated body of the deceased was found by the revenue police after several hours. The angry and furious villagers angrily protested in front of the forest staff raising slogans for their ineficiency and complacense.

The irate residents were demanding dousing of the jungle fire and subsequent killing of the maneater.

Meanwhile sources reveal that the maneater leapard has been captured by the forest division and is in the custody of the VAN VIBHAG.

Though the incidents of maneater attacks are already on the rise but after the jungle fires the maneaters are thronging towards villages and human settlements in search of refuge and food and the human beings are becoming their easy prey, particularly the women and children and at time the senior citizens.

If you ask for the accurate statistical data from the forest division of Uttarakhand they have none and even if they give it its too unauthentic. The reason being if they give the factual data their inefficiency and complacense would be revealed and subsequently would invite penal action.

Niharika Ghia writes: According to a newspaper report, UK forest department lacks the factual database on victims of animal attacks. The activists allege that complilation of factual data of wild animal attack victims will expose the inefficiency of the forest officials in tackling such conflicts. The officials do not wish to get caught in this so the actual figures are not been registered. Pauri has had the highest number of leopard attacks but unfortunately the database is not being registered correctly. I guess the fencing around the forest area as well as CCTV cameras is not done. Besides adequate supply of food will prevent the wild animals coming near villages. What a merciless attack.

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Forest fires of Uttarakhand result in raising the temperature of the hills !

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The massive fires in the forests of the hills of Uttarakhand has not only created havoc to its precious wild life, flora and fauna, the timber, green trees and the soil including damage to the catchment areas killing the pivotal water sources, it has also resulted in enhancing the temperature of the summers to 41 degree celsious in towns like Dehradun and 29/ 35 degree celsious in the interior hills termed to be the summer destinations which used to remain pleasent and pretty cool.

What is more worrying is the fact that the fire which has started from Pauri forests or the adjoining hill districts has now engulfed the forests of Tehri, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and even Uttarkashi and the pictures of deers, cows, calves n roasted condition ging viral in facebook, though not yet authenticated as from which areas these pictures of dead animals in forest forest have been procured from.

Even in the stretches of Kotdwar jungles this ravaging fire have spread. According to the latest new reports, the expeditiously ravaged forests by massive fires which is still continuing due to the air pressure has also led to increase in the temperature of the hill areas particularly the towns and cities already under the influence of global warming.

Though the staff of the forest division are trying their best to didge the fire through whatever minimum means they possess but the magnitude of the fire has now gained such a tremendous proortion that its not within the reach of the limited staff of the forest departmentdevid of the lated hi tech technical facilities and equipments.

The only and the best way, though highly expensive is sprinkling of water over the forests fires through helicopters as done in countries abroad as depending on natural rains would be an extremely risky and dangerous proposition.

It may be recalled that UK had rain deficit of 68%. And Pauri Garhwal is already reeling under 82% rain deficit since Dec, Jan months. Therefore the entire forest cover has gone dry thus enraging widespread fire on a rapid scale. Decrease in rain increases temperatures and results in forest fires.

Moreover, it has been a tradition of burning the dry grass during summers expecting the birth of new grass after monsoon for fodder of animals. And in this immature exercise the entire jungles are put on fire causing irreperable damage to the flora and fauna and the wild animals on a vast scale. Some disgruntled elements also do it deliberately pre strategically and conspiratorially for various vested interests.

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Education

Come, the summer of May, June and Uttarakhand’s forests’ are on massive fire! When would this menace end, after all?

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Come summer, particularly May, June and Uttarakhand’s jungles are on massive fire. This has now become a sort of a tradition and despite this highly damaging feature going on for years together the successive governments and the forest departments have proved to be completely futile and effectless rather highly complacent in countering this dastardly menace.

For the last several days the jungles of Pauri , Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal districts are on massive fire with no serious exercise on the part of the authorities concerned to ensure that the fire is countered and the jungles and the lives of the animals and the species saved forthwith.

Remember last year and in 2016, the massive fire having started from jungles of the Pauri Garhwal district has enraged the forests of almost entire Uttarakhand causing infinite loss to the green trees, flora and fauna and the creatures inside the jungle who were literally roasted.

The massive jungle fire in the Uttarakhand Himalayas have left behind a trail of sorrow n anguish then (2016,17) . The acute environmental tragedy has not only damaged the lungs of the nation that were providing the whole nation pure oxygenated air but have also led to the loss of eight human lives n colossal loss to wild life , our environment, massive treasure of green trees, grass, insects, butterflies, reptiles and growing plants in initial stages.

This huge jungle fire that originally started on 23rd February in the jungles of Kedarnath division in just one hectare of area finally engulfed about 3739 hectares till 4th May, 2016 due to the utter failure, negligence, ignorance and complacence of the forest department and the related government authorities.

Uttarakhand Himalayas are considered to be the lungs of the entire nation and Asian sub continent which give us pure oxygenated air but after this highly deadly fire which almost damaged more than 60 % of the jungles of about 11 districts of Uttarakhand have resulted in makeing our environment hot and vitiated.

Today, Uttarakhand has lost its credibility as the green forests and lungs of the nation. Uttarakhand Himalaya is dominated by 71 % jungles and greenery n these extensive fires have reduced its jungles to 30% supposedly.

According to Anil Joshi, eminent environmentalist and chief of HESCO , these ravaging fires of UK jungles have damaged our ecology to such a grave extent that the trees which used to soak or absorb carbon dioxide from the environment and release fresh oxygen, have today unfortunately become the main source to release carbon dioxide in abudance after their being burnt completely.

The microflore and fauna maintain the ecosystem of the jungles but these have now turn into ashes. If there will be rains, there are chances of massive lanslides leading to further ecological catastrophes.

When the Britishers ruled India they roped in excessive pine trees in the Uttarakhand hills with the vested interest of getting maximum timber for construction purposes.

Hence Uttarakhand jungles are today covered with 17 % of Chir pine trees which are not only useless from the productive and environmental angle but are making the hill lands acidic, not prone for agricultural or plant produce.

During the eruption of fires in this mountainous ranges these pine trees’ needles result in making the fire more furious thus posing direct challenge to to the green jungles. Since Lisa emanating out from these pine trees also fetches high profit in addition to the timber value, the Britishers focussed their attention on growing more n more pine trees.

Keeping in view the increasing demand from the environmentalists to get the Uttarakhand hills rid of these futile pine trees, the government finally bowed down an proposed to cut these pines in large numbers replacing it with environmentally friendly species , but it was felt that it will again led to the timber mafia promotion as Uttarakhand forests will become bald n the mafias would earn handsome profit in league with those sitting at the helm in the government. This may further result in huge catastrophes like floods n other natural calamities.

Therefore the need today is to get rid of these pine trees in a phased manner and simultaneous plantation of the productive spieces’ trees against each pine tree to be felled.

It’s not the first time that Uttarakhand Jungles have witnessed fire. There had been jungle fires since time immemorial but during the earlier times these deliberate fires were created by the forest staff at the edges of the jungles with a view to clear them of unwanted dry leaves that were the impediment in the way of fresh growth of grass and plants for the wild life and animals.

But now due to the negligence and ignorance of the forest staff n their vested squeezed intention to siphon of huge money that is delivered to them for maintaining the forests and planting of fresh trees for clean environment , these officials n employees allegedly put the jungles on fire with the help of jungle mafia who are illegally in league with them.

The massive Uttarakhand fire of 2016 that has completely devastated jungles of about 11 districts of Uttarakhand also speaks of the sorry state of affairs of the state government in not framing an adequate fool proof policy to dodge such huge jungle fires which had been erupting since time immemorial.

The environment ministry and the Forest department of the central government is to be equally blamed for this massive man made disaster. The fire that started on 23 rd February in ,2016 continued till 4 May and the state as well as the central government were mum on this pivotal issue having been ridiculously busy in destabilising each other through horse trading in Uttarakhand and trading charges on each other inside parliament . Uttarakhands 5 Lok Sabha MPs and two Rajya Sabha nominees then had no time to bring such a pivotal matter to the knowledge of the concerned authorities resulting in 8 precious deaths, colossal loss to our economy and immense harm to our wild life and jungles of central Himalayas.

Similarly, the massive fire thathas now started in the jungles of Pauri, Garhwal district needs to be dodged and curbed strngly and most effectively failing which it can further spread in the adjoining jungles creating havoc to the wild life and the environment of the hills as happened in 2016.

Moreover the impact forest fires are highly damaging for various reasons such as enhancing global warming, change in lande scape, affect on photosynthesis, loss ofvaluable timber resources, massive soil erosion affecting the productivity of soils and production, degradation of catchment areas, loss of bio diversity and extinction of lants and animals, loss of wild life habitats and extinction/ depletion of wild life, loss of natural regeneration and collosal loss of forest cover, ozone layer depletion and above all most importantly loss of the carbon sink resource and massive increase in the percentage of Carbondioxide in the environment. In addition it also leads to creation of multiple deseases thus resulting in detereorating health conditions including making the lives of villagers and tribals cumbersome who depends on fuel n timber to cook food and meeting their daily needs.

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