Last year, the Indian state of Uttarakhand was hit was a multi-day downpour. Thousands of people died in the ensuing flood and thousands of villages had to deal with the subsequent damage.
What caused all the destruction?
According to environmentalists, the rain alone didn’t do it:
Souparno Banerjee of the Indian advocacy group the Center for Science and Environment said that despite state government denials, most experts were of the view that unregulated development and unregulated tourism is responsible for the scale of the disaster.
“Development is important but we need to keep in mind the very delicate eco-system that you’re working within,” he said. “The Himalayas are the biggest mountain range in the world but they are also extremely fragile.
“You need to keep that in mind when putting disaster management plans in place.”
He said his organization recommended a certain amount of flow necessary to keep rivers in the region at a safe level, but that dam projects and river diversions for roads had backed up with flood waters from torrential rains.
Her observations came during an interaction with experts… of the Dehradun-based Himalayan Institute of Glaciology and Forest Research Institute. Pointing out that human excretory activities were forbidden within the natural boundary formed by the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers which flowed near the shrine in 1882, Bharti said, “However, as time passed, atheists came here, mainly for business purposes. This resulted in nature’s fury at Kedarnath in 2013”.
She, however, added that the “immediate reason” for the Kedarnath deluge was cloudburst and excessive rains in the state which had left over 6,000 people dead. “But the underlying reason was human excretion,” she added.
Even the reporter writing this story couldn’t cover it objectively, writing in the very next paragraph:
Bharti’s comments — which apparently defied scientific logic — came a few days after…
Hilarious. And completely wrong.
At least she’s not in charge of anything important, right?
She’s only the “Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation” for the Indian government.
I guess we have nothing to worry about.