From the Editor’s Desk
Impending Drought In Himachal
The prolonged dry spell in Himachal is proving to be a worrying factor for farmers and horticulturists who are likely to suffer on the economic front. Will Himachal continue to rely on predictions of Meteorological Department or try to understand the reasons behind prevailing scenario? It is easy to find a solution if a local nullah flowing besides a habitat dries up. But now glaciers are melting thus posing a threat of unpredictable floods. This hilly state is experiencing drought like conditions due to changing climatic conditions as excessive use of chemical fertilizers is proving toxic. Horticulturists are worried due to decreasing chilling hours having adverse impact on their economy. Earlier, excessive use of chemicals in apple producing belts had bad impact on environment because soil behaviour changed as farmers and horticulturists discarded organise package of practices. It is evident from lack of rain and snow in January month and these conditions are in no way congenial for wheat and apple economy. What are the options available in the backdrop of deteriorating environment and remedies to tackle such a situation? The role of agriculture university accountable to agrarian community is also under scanner. Problem is deep rooted if agriculture department and university are unable to link their accountability with their annual performance as farmers are facing challenges of drought like conditions for many years now. Same poser stares at horticulture university as to why it did not take up the research based on changing climatic cycle. It also pertains to policies and programmes because agriculture in this hilly state is still dependent upon rainfall. We are looking for progress in dam projects that displaces many people rather than focusing on strengthening irrigation facilities. The apple economy is shrinking and there is a need to think over this issue. Technique is not commensurate with the development in hills but the nation is unable to understand the quantum of impending loss by not providing financial assistance to this hilly state. We have forgotten the constraints in lifestyle in the mad race of development. Himachal needs to understand the use of science and technique while undertaking extensive road network expansion. We all are responsible for environmental damage despite raising slogans of water conservation.
Thought of the Week
Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.