The FRIENDS OF RIVER TAWI on World environment day Hosted an event “TAWI LAYI- DOSTI KA SURAKSHA KAWACH” with trees at the Tawi Biodiversity Park, Bikram Chowk.
Volunteers, students and activists joined “Dosti Ka Suraksha Kavach” by tying friendship bands to trees at Tawi Biodiversity Park proceeding with pledges & discussions with interactors after that they Marched towards Tawi Bridge, Bikram Chowk Followed by spreading a 300-meter long raksha kavach over SURYA PUTRI Tawi showcasing shield and protection from further destruction going to be caused by the riverfront development Project.
The project was initiated by the govt. Aimed to improve the river’s aesthetic value by constructing a 7 km long riverfront in two stages. Since the project falls under the “Jammu Smart City program.” By looking at the project roadmap one might wonder what the problem could possibly be.
Looking into the broader picture such riverfront projects require the uprooting of the surrounding landmass and cutting down of numerous trees, abolishment of the natural biodiversity of that place and overall destruction of the natural phenomenon. One such example of the imbalance caused by this project is the destruction of the Tawi biodiversity park, which falls under the Tawi riverfront project. This park is being cleared out of its biodiversity completely which grows almost 1000 different types of plants which can’t be grown in warm climates and at a time like this when saving plants and maintaining global temperature should be the priority. Every year thousands of flora and fauna are lost because of such anthropogenic reasons. Global warming and climate change have paced up yet humans get manipulated and get carried away by such development projects in the name of development and change.
Riverfront is a region along a river that beautifies and maintains the glory of the city through cafes, museums & parks lined up near the banks. Rather than building such a riverfront, they take a lot of construction which disturbs the natural habitat living in water and alongside the riverfront. Since the riverfront project is similar to the “SABARMATI RIVERFRONT”, there is a high chance that the Tawi River front once constructed fully will face the same issues. The Sabarmati is nearly dry in the section along the riverfront, has stagnant water that was brought in from the Narmada, and is overflowing with sewage and industrial waste downstream from the riverfront. Tawi can face the same issues in the future.
Why we can’t live and let live? Why do we feel the need to pursue such projects which in turn only bring instability in the ecosystem? After all, all we want is comfortable life and growth in the tourism sector. This can be promoted by maintaining the city’s river history and growing more trees in the parks lined out by the banks. To mention, the majority of the tourists who visit, love to visit the city’s natural beauty it has been nurturing. The city’s benefit lies only in maintaining the lush green beauty which will not only promote tourism but also will give rise to a healthy ecosystem for a better future for Jammu. Ask yourself are we going to let our river die in the name of development and modernization?
Are we going to sit silent and watch it happen?
by Anmol Ohri and Ritambra Khajuria