Chandigarh: Expressing concern over rampant
deforestation which is leading to undesirable environmental
changes, noted environmentalist and Magsaysay awardee
Sunderlal Bahuguna on Tuesday emphasised the need to change existing policies.
"Deforestation in Himalayas and the rest of the country
is bringing in undesirable environmental changes and leading
to shortage of potable water," he said while speaking at the
Lala Achint Ram memorial lecture on `Importance of the
Himalayas and nature in the future of India` here.
"It is sad that we are poisoning our soil and degrading
the environment through chemical fertilisers and pesticides
without even realising what is the direct and indirect cost of
this degradation," the noted social activist who is associated
with the `chipko` movement said.
"The government and commercial interests often plant
trees of variety which are not suitable and conducive to
environment. Himalayan region requires fruit trees like
apricot, walnut, cashew nut etc which are not only good for
the economy but are also good for the ecology as they hold
more water and do not disturb the water table negatively," he
Emphasising the need to change our policies and thought
on the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, he said,
"Plantation of such trees (which do not need much fertilisers)
is also good from the food nutrition point of view as they are
healthier and can tackle the problem of shortage of food too".