Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Tourist Lodges in the Sunderbans Receive Demolition Notices

Sunderbans National Park

The Sunderbans National Park of India and Bangladesh is renowned for its remote and mysterious delta consisting of several forested islands with some of the Indian subcontinent's rich variety of wildlife. One of the prime species native to this delta is the Bengal tiger. Despite it's name meaning "beautiful forest" in Hindi, Sunderbans has been and still is infamous for its tiger attacks on the local people who rely on the waters for fish and forests for firewood. In recent times, it had been found that one of the factors contributing to an increased number of tiger attacks in the region is the rise in water levels due to global warming.

In order to prevent further increase in water levels and reduce pollution levels, the government of West Bengal has taken a step in issuing demolition notices to nine tourist lodges in the region. According to Arijit Mitra, block development officer of Gosaba in South 24-Pargans district, the lodges had no papers stating government permission and had been set up in and around the embankments. This could lead to flooding, which is why their owners were asked to demolish them. In addition to that, State Minister for Sunderbans Affairs Kanti Ganguly stated that several other buildings such as houses and schools had been set up in different parts of the region and their owners will receive show-cause notices. Biswajit Mukherjee, law officer of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), said that it is mandatory to get approval from the Coastal Regulatory Management Authority (CRMA) while constructing any building. If that building is built without approval, then it should be pulled down.

I'm very impressed to see how the West Bengal government has come up with a new way to solve the problems in the Sunderbans concerning the lives of both people and the environment. In this case, it has to do with establishing of different buildings in the region. By constructing various buildings in different parts of the Sunderbans, it appears that people are further contributing to the rise of pollution levels which could also lead to attacks by tigers and deaths by flooding. Thanks to the idea of having buildings demolished in and around embankments, the government is helping save lives of people in the Sunderbans from flooding. This could also lead to less attacks from tigers, which has been the goal of the national park. This sure is something to feel proud about.

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