Aravalli’s desertification (India)

 

Photo credit: Khaleej Times

The view over the Aravalli Hills from the top of Jaigarh Fort in Amer, Jaipur.
(Alamy Stock Photo)

Haryana to combat Aravalli’s desertification

by C P Surendan/Haryana

The Aravalli is a range of mountains in western India running some 692km in a northeastern direction across the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, and ending in Delhi. It regulates the weather system of the region besides affording natural forest cover.

Its importance calls for its protection. However, a recent survey says the Aravalli range is in imminent danger of desertification.

Worried over the news, the Haryana government is set to launch a programme next week to take steps to conserve the forest area.

The survey by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) pointed to 12 big gaps that have appeared owing to sand drift. The gaps exponentially raise the risk of the area turning into an extension of the Thar desert.

Conservationists and environment activists on Monday – the World Environment Day – said the creeping up of the desert into the Aravalli must be checked without delay.

The 12 identified gaps on the Aravalli hills extend from Magra hills in Ajmer district to Khetri-Madhogarh hills in Jhunjhunu district and the northern-most hillocks in Mahendragarh district of Haryana.

The vulnerable areas in the Aravalli include Dungarpur-Banswar on the Aravalli Range, Upper Banganga Valley, Magra Area, Girwa-Gogunda tract, Jaisamand lake area, Daragarh-Banara-Maja-Dariba area, Abu-Sirohi and Chappan Hills in the south Aravalli.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said he would be fighting against the desertification on a war-footing. He is scheduled to inaugurate the conservation programme at Bhondsi on June 17. The state government is in the process of preparing a roadmap that will be rolled out on the same day.

Read the full article: Khaleej Times

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.