Since the aftermath of the Joshimath incident, the government and people have become more aware of the damage that humans have caused to the environment and hence many measures are being taken to save the hills, mountains and mountain ranges across India.
Earlier this month on 3 February, the Gujarat High Court issued a notice to the state government, the administration of the Junagadh district and the forest department to maintain the cleanliness around Girnar hill temple.
Team Udaipur Times has also started a similar campaign to preserve the habitat around Neemach Mata Hill Temple and is seeking people’s opinions regarding the construction of a new ropeway on Neemach Mata hill to promote tourism. Many responsible and conscious citizens of Udaipur have objected to the project and a few of them also filed a petition against the project in the court.
When UdaipurTimes caught up with senior advocate and philanthropist Rajesh Singhvi to know his opinion about the ropeway project, he said the administration undertakes these types of projects to increase tourism in order to generate revenue. Sammed Shikhar and Joshimath in Uttarakhand are two such examples and results have been disastrous.
Singhvi said there are many other ways to develop Udaipur as a tourist hub, why destroy nature to promote tourism? He emphasized this is not development, this is destruction.
He also highlighted that the residents of the Neemach Mata colony (colony around the foothill) are not being issued the land lease documents (पट्टा) for their houses by the UIT because this land comes under forest department and is a no construction zone. He argued, "How did the municipal corporation obtain the construction permission for the ropeway?"
Singhvi was vocal about the mismanagement by the administration in the name of progress. He said, “Construction of ropeways and statues will not improve the living standards of the citizens of Udaipur. Administration is misleading the public in the name of development.”
Singhvi has appealed to the people of Udaipur to come forward and raise their voices to stop this destruction of the environment and tranquility of the temple. He added that if the government has any sensitivity regarding this matter then it will stop this project with immediate effect.
Udaipur Times will continue to publish the opinions of Udaipur residents on the NMRP to raise public awareness. We need more people to come forward to help protect the nature. Threats like climate change and deforestation are accelerating faster than ever before in history. Humanity must rise to meet that threat.