'Need to recast environmental policy in Himalayas'



New Delhi: Amid growing criticism about neglect to ecology in the Himalayan region in the backdrop of the recent flash flood havoc, senior Congress leader Karan Singh on Friday made a strong pitch for "reappraisal of the environmental policy in the Himalayas".

"The horrific Himalayan Tsunami has caused untold havoc in Uttarakhand - thousands of precious lives including our brave security forces have been lost, whole villages have disappeared and the fragile Himalayan ecology has received a massive blow.

"For decades, I have lent my voice to the anxiety felt by committed environmentalists regarding the extensive deforestation in the Himalayas and also the building of massive dams on the Ganga and its tributaries," the Congress leader said in a press release.

He urged that there should be an "agonising reappraisal of our whole environmental policy in the Himalayas" after this monumental tragedy.

Singh also said that he was donating Rs 50 lakh from his MPLADS fund and Rs 5 lakh on behalf of the Dharmarth Trust, Jammu and Kashmir run by him.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had recently asked all party MPs, MLAs and MLCs to donate their one month salary and directed MPs to donate Rs 10 lakh each from MPLAD fund.

Singh, who is a veteran Congress leader from Jammu and Kashmir also hailed the completion of over 11-km long tunnel between Qazigund in Kashmir and Banihal in Jammu region recently terming it a "monumental and remarkable technological achievement".

PTI