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Need of Conservation of Natural Water Pathways

Need of Conservation and Restoration of thousands of years old Natural Water Pathways, Perennial Water Channels, Seasonal Streams, Flood Ways throughout Pakistan

Water is fundamental ingredient of the Mother Nature, it plays crucial role in sustaining life on earth, especially for life on the land. Too less in quantity and the life on the land gets disturb, and too much in quantity and the destruction rules. Animals and plants are resilient to such changes and adjust to their environment more easily, but humans are difficult to adapt, because animals and plants don’t need special arrangements whereas humans depend on their created infrastructure, like, buildings, houses, roads, farms, fields, barns, etc. and a small change in the mood of the Mother Nature, human life is destroyed, decades of created development and advancement turns into ruins, and lives on individual scale take years to coup up and sometimes never be able to recover from the loss.

Rivers, seasonal streams (nalahs), river tributaries, natural rain drains, exist from thousands of years, maintaining balance between too less and too much, sustaining harmony throughout the terrains, helping life to flourish. These are flowing at their courses with a subtle perfection, passing through the best possible routes with minimal resistance and easy go through ways. Even though during monsoon season some of these over flow and surrounding land submerge under their water, but such an event does not occur every year, even when it occurs, its duration is very small and within a week all the water goes back to the original channels and flows normally.

Daik Stream At Sialkot

View of Daik Stream at Sialkot-Punjab — A Ravi River Tributory

Basantar Stream

View of Basantar Stream at Jammu — A Ravi River Tributory

Aik Stream

View of Aik Stream near Sialkot-Punjab — A Chenab River Tributory

In old times, mild flooding used to be considered as a form of blessings of the Mother Nature because excessive water flowing from the mountain ranges used to bring minerals and fine grain fertile soil with it, spreading throughout the plain lands through flooding water, acting as natural fertilizers, revitalizing the chemical composition of the soil. Farmers used to count on this at least twice in a decade. It would not be wrong to say that this is an old phenomenon now, in present time most of these water pathways carry minimal waters due to the changes to their sources, especially made by humans.

The first main change is the climate shifts, now the summer is prolonged with fewer rains, and winter is much shorter and dryer. Summer has extended to seven months with almost three month of hot dry weather in the beginning and at the end, with just one month of monsoon in the middle. And the winter has shifted ahead a month, now winter rains start in January instead of December, almost three months of winter with one month of pleasant weather at start and at the end. The second main reason is the constructions of manmade infrastructures i.e. water reservoirs, dams, changes to water pathways, inter connections of rivers through canals, cutting of forests which used to facilitate monsoon and seasonal rains, spreads of human populations, etc.

Despite of all these changes made, the Mother Nature tries to straighten the curve at least once in a decade, to bring back things into their original state, but this time it goes it aggressively in the form of excessive rains, unevenly distributed rains, intense atmospheric low pressure due to pollution and congestion causing rain bombs, flash flooding, etc. all these contribute to disasters on the human infrastructures. The more advance and developed the infrastructure is, the more it will be devastated by the Nature’s strikes.

Human over population, over growing infrastructure, unmanaged and unplanned development of villages, towns and cities, has destroyed the natural layout of the terrains. Jungles and meadows have been turned into agricultural land, river banks have been reduced to minimal possible areas, change of course of natural pathways of seasonal streams, and at many places natural rain water drains and small river tributaries have been completely erased and changed into farming lands and housing societies. All these irresponsible and unfaithful changes to the fundamental architecture of the Mother Nature, has put the lives of millions at danger. It is like a ticking time bomb. We don’t know when the next time the Nature will try to reorganize its order to the original state. And what will happen when the time will come. Are we prepared for this? We are not. All we’ll do will blame the Almighty, blame the Nature.

We have observed the destruction of Mumbai – India, on July 26, 2005, caused by heavy rain fall. The whole province was under attack of flash floods, especially the Mumbai city was choked to death. There was no place for the rain water to go through because all of the natural water pathways were either erased or were minimized to their maximum for real estate projects. It was a deliberate mismanagement, irresponsibility and corruption.

We have observed the destruction of Karachi – Pakistan, throughout August 2020, caused by heavy rain falls. The city became dead stop, many died due to drowning, electrical shocks, buildings fell off, diseases like by malaria, diarrhea, dengue, etc. the reason was the same, there was no place for rain water to go through because all the natural water pathways were either erased or were minimized to their maximum.

Cities situated at hill foot are more prone to rain fall and flash flood kind of disasters. All the cities alongside Himalayas, Karakorum, Hindu Kush, Jammu & Kashmir hills and Salt ranges are in high danger. The population in these regions is growing, cities are expanding, needs for resources is increasing so the greed is growing, more and more unmanaged development is happening, ignoring the integrity of the terrains.

The situation is alarming and need proper consideration. It is the responsibility of the state to maintain harmony between growing development and the integrity of the terrains. The government must start projects to maintain and conserve the natural water pathways.

Category: Education, Social

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