Bahuguna plans new development approach for Uttarakhand
Dehradun: Uttarakhand has to adopt a new approach to development after the floods and landslides that killed almost 6,000 people and wrecked buildings, roads and bridges last month, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said.
The heaviest rainfall on record caused swollen rivers and glacier lakes to burst their banks and triggered huge landslides across the Himalayas, geologically a relatively young and unstable mountain range. Bahuguna has come under a barrage of criticism from some environmentalists who say the disaster was "man-made."
They say the construction of hydro-electric dams, involving blasting tunnels through mountains to carry diverted flows of water, illegal yet rampant deforestation and the spread of unregulated buildings along river banks worsened the impact of the unprecedentedly heavy monsoon rains.
"We have to do development differently," said Bahuguna, when asked in an interview by the Thomson Reuters Foundation whether he planned to change his development policy, given the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas.