Source: Deccan Herald
Wider roads will lead to increase in traffic, cutting of innumerable trees on the 65 km path, confrontation with wild animals and, above all, increased pollution.
As the world struggles with global warming, pollution, depleting forest and many such similar problems, it is strange how we think of our temporary gains at the cost of Mother Earth. Despite two existing and well maintained routes connecting Goa and Belgaum, there is an attempt to upgrade another one between Panaji and Belgaum via Chorla. This route runs through pristine forests of the Western Ghats and has been in existence for long. Last year the Government came up with a plan to double the width of this road. The present road is quite competent, if repaired well, to carry the present load of traffic.
These are the last tracts of forest remaining with a good amount of trees and wildlife. The elephants use this stretch of land as a corridor to go from one part of the jungle to another in search of water. Because of encroachment in their habitat, there have been several confrontations between elephants and the villagers and as water becomes scarce in summer, these animals are forced to come to areas with thin forest cover in search of water.
At a time when depleting forests and human interference are driving to extinction our co-citizens (wild animals), where is the need for another road? What is the harm in travelling an hour extra, if needed at all, through some beautiful forests rather than speeding in the desert?
Wider roads will lead to increase in traffic, cutting of innumerable trees on the 65 km path, confrontation with wild animals and, above all, increased pollution (noise, air, water). Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the felling of trees and the rainfall pattern in that area.
Rather than bigger roads, why not smaller vehicles? We cannot replace a forest by plantation; we cannot recreate a waterfall or nature. Therefore, we have no right to destroy it. Global warming is high on every country’s agenda. We should not cut down our forests in the name of development in emulation of the West at a time when the US and Europe are reeling under the effects of global warming for want of forest cover.
Let this one track maintain the same width. If required, heavy vehicles can be restricted on this road. Let us make the intelligent decision of protecting our forests for our own well being.