Er Prabhat Kishore
Madhya Pradesh Government had surveyed Bundelkhand regions under ‘Bunder Diamond Project’ through Australian company Rio Tinto in 2000-2005 to find out probability of diamond. In the survey Kimberlite rock, which is the major source (ore) of diamonds, was traced out in Buxwaha forest areas. Presently, Panna of Madhya Pradesh is the largest repository of diamonds. It is said that Buxwaha forest contains 15 times more diamond than Panna. The State government has allotted the mining area to Aditya Birla Group’s Assell Mining and Industries Ltd on lease for 50 years. The mining area of 364 hectare is a part of approximate 3,000 hectare of Buxwaha protected forest. The heartening aspect is that to excavate the diamond nearly 2,15,875 trees of various species will be cut down, threatening large scale ecological imbalance in the region.Presently not only Madhya Pradesh, but whole world is suffering from the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), whose one of the prime cause is disturbance in nature and ecological imbalance. Currently, main thrust to counter pandemic is production of artificial oxygen in laboratories, which is nothing but result of neglecting natural source of this life supporting gas, i.e., trees. Ideally a country must have at least 33 per cent of its areas covered with forest, but currently it is just 20 per cent in India. Central as well as State governments have separate jumbo size ministries and departments for the purpose; but inspite of huge expenditure of public money all have failed to achieve the goal, even after 73 years of independence. Trees & plants are major components of environment. They balance proportion of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The gradual rise of temperature on the earth is not a natural disaster, but is the scientific and environmental problem. There are certain proportion of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon mono-oxide and other gases in the air. Due to steep growth of factories & motor vehicles, rapid pace of urbanisation, population rise and indiscriminate reaping of forests there has been unexpected increase in proportion of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. With rise in population, the consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide has also increased. There has been gradual rise in carbon dioxide gas due to conventional source of energy such as burning of coal, wood, petroleum, cow-dung etc. This gas has the tendency to pass sunlight through it, increasing temperature of atmosphere and resulting in unwanted geographical & seasonal changes.The emitting smoke from factories & vehicles contains not only carbon di-oxide but harmful carbon mono-oxide, nitrogen oxide, lead oxide, carbon particles, heavy hydro-carbon, formaldehyde, bengene, which pollute atmosphere and affects the cells in the human’s lungs to become cancerous. The Ozone-layer protects us from harmful ultra-violet rays of the Sun. The industrial chemicals, particularly chloro-carbon and nitrogen oxides from nuclear and atomic explosion have damaged Ozone-layer to great extent. If these chemicals are not controlled, then in coming 50 years Ozone-layer of the earth will be damaged upto 25 to 30 per cent, resulting in rapid increase in atmospheric temperature with further danger of cancer human and animal bodies. A report revealed that presently sectors contributing in pollution are from municipality 45.62 per cent, Bio-medical/chemical – 20 per cent, various modes of transport – 14 per cent, industries – 6.4 per cent, Thermal power station – 6.4 per cent and other sources 6.7 per cent.In various religious literatures, the importance of trees has been highlighted. In Sanskrit literature, trees like Peepal, Neem, Tulsi, Bargad/Vat, Anwala has been worshiped and cutting of green trees have been prohibited. Obviously, Holy literatures have glorified trees due to its life-supporting quality. In Matasya Puran, a tree has been mentioned equivalent to ten sons (Dash Koopsamavapi Dashvapisamohridah, Dash Hridsamahputron Dashputrasamodrumah). In Bhagwad Gita also, Bhagwan Krishna has glorified Vat/Bargad tree as ‘Ashvatthah Sarvavrikshanam’. In Yayurved, the tree has been said to be the reflection of Bhagwan Shiva. As Shiva ingested poison and released Amrit, in the same way trees desiccate poison (poisonous gases like Carbon di-oxide) and pump out Amrit in the form of oxygen.Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under the Peepal tree called Bodhi Vriksh in Bodh Gaya. As per Buddhist scriptures, nature creates as well as preserves life and it is the duty of people to preserve trees considering them as living being. All 24 Jain Tirthankars meditated under the tree to attain enlightenment. As per Islamic literature, ‘whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit, he will be rewarded by Allah as charity’. Holy Bible says ‘God made the trees with seed bearing fruits. He gave us the possibility to increase their number by planting seeds.’Actually all these aspects have been emphasised to keep in mind social concern regarding importance of trees & plants for conservation of environment.Forests are not just densely covered areas of trees & plants, but are source of livelihood of human as well as other biological creatures. These are responsible for rains, reduce affect of natural calamities like Tsunami, prevents soil erosion, minimizes air pollution, provides shelter for birds and wild animals, made available food sources etc. These are source of numerous herbal plants for manufacturing medicines. In other words, it is lifeline for millions of peoples and other living creatures. The conservation of environment is not possible only through some government initiatives; civil society too has to come forward. Otherwise, in coming days, due to unexpected rise of carbon dioxide and damage of Ozone-layer, the earth would be so much heated that existence of life on the earth will be in danger mode. Although Buxwahalush green forest is not the only natural resource whose existence is in danger, earlier hundreds of various such resources have been destroyed recklessly on the name of development causing disastrous climatic changes in those regions. No doubt, diamond or other valuable minerals are essential for nation’s growth & prosperity, but not at the cost of life-supporting natural resources, the forests and the trees. Once again, the million dollar question arises-‘What is important for nation-Diamond or Oxygen?’(The author is a technocratand academician).
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