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Digging wells when house is in flames cannot save it. We have tendency of doing things that way. We voice concern on facing a situation and keep stiff upper lip when it passes, until it approaches again. Crying for the damages caused is futile, shrewdness would be, planning for unforeseen and learn from mistakes made in the past, that is what we lack unfortunately! We have become a society who has failed to manage the seasonal snags, we lose precious lives to the mishaps that our anticipation could otherwise prevent, one wonders how can we deal with the natural catastrophe and minimize damage.

New pollen season has approached and we have had enough clamors last year and before. The   health complications created by pollen falling from Russian poplars   is not unfamiliar, the demand for masks (face covers) remain high in the season. There is a fully-fledged order of J&K High Court    directing administration to axe Russian poplars in their areas, as they are hazardous for the populace. Overlooking the efforts of administration in cutting these trees would be unfair, but we cannot declare the mission accomplished either. These majestic trees can be seen almost everywhere with loaded beans geared up to shower us an unwanted pollen, of this season. Off the pollen season, why administration was on hibernation, despite court order, is the question that remains. Blade could have been kept functional throughout the year and until the last tree is fallen, even in rural areas, they have right to enjoy safe environment as well.

This is not the only situation where administration fall asleep until alarming situation knocks. We are habitual of digging well when flames are up. A consecutive rain for few days create a flood like situation across the valley and people start counting down. After the historic flood of 2014, hearing a Public interest litigation (PIL) in 2017  HC observed that, it was inefficiency and negligence of the irrigation & flood control (I&FC) department that 2014 flood was able to wreck havoc. Unfortunately, nothing improved on ground after September floods, department was in deep slumber and finally High Court directed the department to complete the dredging process, and file necessary report. Three years passed and we are yet to see something improving.

Common people are equally responsible for hampering the process. Being the responsible members of society, we should think beyond personal gains and dispose the services that we owe to the nation.

The current water crisis going on in the valley has posed a threat to agricultural sector; farmers were directed to switch for the crops that require no water instead of paddy, this is the outcome of dry winter. Kashmir received no snowfall in Chilai Kalaan, which is the main source of water in streams, rivers, and cannels. Despite having the strict environment protection laws at national and international level we have failed to prevent the forests, curb pollution and save land. Corruption in the concerned departments provides free heaven to the timber smugglers and other violators, thus leaving future generations in danger for few bucks.

The deadly forest fire which has consumed many forests has received least attention from the govt. the employees complain that they have no equipments to control the fire, and that causes the huge damage. It takes decades to grow a forest and our negligence ruins that in few days. Our negligence does not only pose a danger to us but the whole world, as nature knows no boundaries. We have already unholy disputes across the globe to take human lives, now we should not be susceptible to natural smashes as well.

Let us not exe the branch we perch on and endanger the whole world through our mistakes. We should collectively make efforts to contribute in whatever way we can, a little effort counts and collective effort makes a difference. We must act before time is gone; it is our responsibility and evading it, is a step towards devastation.

Writer is a student activist, currently studying LAW at Kashmir University law school

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