Doorstep delivery of everything you want is now possible through a click on your mobile screen. In the rush to outsource everything for what seems like a nominal fee, the demand for getting everything in the quickest possible time has led to the need for speedy transport system through the country. This is one of the reasons for the need of a high-speed freight train corridor between New Delhi and Mumbai. But who is paying the price? Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
The government’s nod to the high-speed freight train corridor that will run through the Park is a serious threat to the wildlife in the forest as well as take a toll on Mumbai’s only green lung. All so that you can buy something online and get it delivered at your doorstep for a mere Rs 200 extra!
The raging forest fires are yet another obvious result of the constant need to vacation! India has a booming number of travellers who keep generating fresh content around the clock to promote various destinations. Did you ever wonder if it was just a traveller’s desire to experience an off-beat location? Why did off-beat destinations suddenly become such an important part of travel? Maybe because the hospitality industry needed to generate more interest in places for more revenue? Logical or not?
I called up a posh resort in the Kumaon region, supposedly at the heart of the forest fires as a regular traveller seeking a booking. The gentleman who took the call said the fires were “hyped” out of proportion by the media. Interestingly, he suggested I take my family to their property at Mukteshwar “where the government-owned forest was a safe haven for the birds.” The fires are only in the “other” part of the forest, the part that will in a matter of time become unusable as forest and ideal for new resorts. Land grabbing through forest fires is hardly a new concept in India.
Peel back a few layers and you will see the true price we are paying for our comforts. Being responsible about travel is an urgent need for everyone. Let's not just sit and let a few crooked minds decide the truth for us. Let us travel, far and wide, and seek out the truth ourselves.
--- The author is Priya Tripathy who spends her time simmering over the blatant stupidity of humans that is costing the Earth its life. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.