A journey anywhere in India is an exciting proposition irrespective of the road conditions. Natural India is beautiful and at times mesmerizing. The green fields dotted with forest clad hillocks and cute hamlets is what one expects with corresponding colors and changing countenance.
But to some one more discerning the rabid urbanization taking place foretells the damage. We drove from New Delhi to Nainital on a birding trip. The urbanization taking place is striking - it is everywhere. Concrete structures colonies, markets, eateries, factories, petrol pumps and whatnot. The resultant filth and squalor is clearly visible along the way.
It is all through the way, a painful reminder of what happened to natural lands during the agricultural revolution. The industrial revolution is a second offensive on natural lands in India. Ill planned, rabid and reckless is how we can describe the concretization of our country. The structures are spreading around towns and cities like tentacles of Tarantula.
Up on the hills the scenario is worse, the road to Sat Tal (Bhim Tal) is the worst case. Throughout one finds hills dotted with colonies, houses and hotels. The construction in the hills is taking over the natural vegetation, forest clad hills, bush country, rivers and lakes. The natural beauty is a fast diminishing factor here. Large chunks of natural lands should be preserved in Uttranachal if the beauty has to remain. Devoid of any construction and inviolate, let me emphasize.
I was saddened by the state of Sat Tal, one of the finest birding heaven, but how long it remains as such? We could feel the pinch as construction clears whatever is left of nature. Small niche habitats are being destroyed or cleared reducing species diversity.
If India has to remain beautiful and attractive a planned approach towards urbanization is due.