Dehradun: The Uttarakhand Government has sought Central assistance of Rs.200 crore in the wake of drought-like conditions in the State due to scanty rainfall for the past six months, official sources said.
Uttarakhand forests are smouldering, leading to a loss of forest wealth worth crores, besides invaluable damage to flora and fauna. These raging fires have also claimed two human lives. With mercury soaring high, forest fires have engulfed large areas in the Garhwal as well as the Kumaon regions of the state. State government officials have requested the remote sensing agency to provide satellite imagery of the prevailing fires to know the exact damage.
A study conducted in 45 villages in the central Himalayas assesses the current status of van panchayats, an old institution of decentralised forest governance. It finds that locals are indifferent to the administrative jurisdiction of the forest in the course of their resource extraction activities. There is no quantitative evidence that they are exercising restraint while accessing and using locally governed forests. Collective rule violation appears to be common. May 3-9, 2008
The G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Almora, Uttar Pradesh, is among the few in the world that concentrate on issues related to mountains. Its director, L M S Palni , dwelt on the need to develop s