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Hills, dams and forests. Some field observations from the Western Ghats

Gadgil, Madhav (1979) Hills, dams and forests. Some field observations from the Western Ghats. In: Sadhana - Academy Proceedings in Engineering Sciences, 2 (SEP). pp. 291-301.

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Abstract

Man’s attempts to intensify the use of natural resources can often result in the exhaustion of the resource or deterioration of other interacting resources. The single-minded pursuit of the development of the water resources of the rivers of the Western Ghats shows many examples of this view, particularly in the unnecessary destruction of the dwindling forest resources. This destruction may be caused by (i) problems o f rehabilitation, e.g. the Ramanagar settlement of the Kalinadi project (ii) the impact of labourers, e.g. the destruction of evergreen sholas on the Upper Nilgiri plateau (iii) the access to encroachers and poachers, e.g. Panshet and Kalinadi (iv) faulty planning, e.g. Linganamakki and Kalinadi. This destruction of forest cover has had a number of deleterious consequences in (i) worsening the shortages of forest resources, (ii) hastening the siltation of the reservoirs, (iii) ecological imbalances as in the rapid spread ofEupatorium in the Kalinadi project area and (iv) the decimation of biological diversity, as in the great reduction of evergreen forests in the Western Ghats, threatening the survival of lion-tailed macaque and the extinction of grass species,Hubbardia heptaneuron. It is stressed that the only sustainable and therefore true development is environmentally sound development. The interests of the weaker sections of the society often provide a good index of the soundness of the development from an environmental point of view. The planning of the development process with this perspective is a great scientific and technological challenge that must be taken up.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: Environmental impact-rehabilitation-deforestation-dams - hydroelectric projects-irrigation projects
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Centre for Theoretical Studies
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2010 08:47
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 06:13
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/31057

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