Thursday , 21 November 2019
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Preserve Exotic Flora And Fauna Of Mopa

It is the duty of the Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change to protect the environment to the best of his ability. The Mopa plateau is an extension of the Western Ghats and a United Nations conservation area, which has 54,676 trees that are fruit-bearing as also the lungs of the area, which replenishes the air with oxygen by photosynthesis. The Mopa plateau is also an area, which is home to a wide variety of wild animals such as pangolins, bison, porcupines, civet cats, wild boar, tigers, macaques as well as birds and butterflies. Mopa has 46 crystal-clear fresh water springs, which are a nature’s gift to the area. When despite of 170 inches of rain, Goa is facing scarcity of drinking water, it would be counterproductive to destroy these natural springs. The Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change should, therefore, take up the causes of the environment and shift the Mopa airport to some arid area in Karnataka or Maharashtra. The exotic Mopa plateau deserves to be protected at all costs. Climate change is a topic that is high on the agenda of every country and with this in mind it is beyond doubt that in the name of preservation of the environment, Mopa airport in Goa be scrapped.

ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI

End Kashmir Clampdown

The president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has stated that the economy of Jammu and Kashmir has lost Rs 10,000 crore after August 5, 2019, when the Article 370 was abrogated by the Centre. There are reports in the media that 14 lakh students have been abstaining from schools for almost three months. Shops also have remained shut for almost three months. The Kashmir Valley produces 70 per cent of India’s apples. Most of these apples will lie rotten in apple gardens or godowns for lack of transport to other destinations in the country. Leaders of all major political parties in the Kashmir Valley are either in jail or under house arrest. A total ban on Internet services and shutdown of 30 lakh prepaid mobile phones in the Kashmir Valley has rendered communication almost impossible. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are committing a blunder by treating a political issue as a law and order problem. Draconian measures may succeed in maintaining law and order but cannot solve political problems. Seventy lakh Kashmiris are caught between directionless clampdown by the Home Ministry and terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. Ironically, instead of protecting Kashmiris and striving for a normal socio-economic system to thrive in the Valley, the Home Ministry’s law and order phobia serves the Pakistani agenda of fomenting permanent unrest among Kashmiris. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India. It is high time the human rights are restored in these areas, as these are guaranteed to the 130 crore Indian citizens elsewhere in the country. Unless political leaders are released from jails and house-arrest and all communications restored, the political process in Jammu and Kashmir will not start. And if that does not start, Modi and Shah may not be able to get out of the mess they have created.

ARAVIND BHATIKAR, CARANZALEM

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