By: Saroj Thakur
The news that the forest department of the Himachal Pradesh government will be cutting a lot of trees, to the tune of thousands, to make way for the setting up of IIT Mandi, made me feel sad for Kamand. I could visualize the mute trees whose fate was sealed and decided in the air-conditioned office of some administrator who had little or no knowledge about denuding the already declining forest cover in Himachal.
I felt sad — very sad — as I had spent some very happy days of my life among these trees at Kamand! The first time I saw Kamand from the window of our vehicle, I could not stop myself from exclaiming, “How beautiful!” and that too when such sceneries were not something new to me being born and brought up in Himachal. But there was something heavenly about Kamand.
Kamand is a picturesque destination for all who want to rejuvenate their lifeless mundane existence that the banality of city life does to us. The experience of the clean and pure air of Kamand, the farm fresh milk of the cows of the Kamand cattle farm and the refreshing long walks in the evening remains etched in my mind. For countless hours I would be gazing at just nothing but the nature around me. The trees in our courtyard seemed to speak to me of the times they had witnessed, and the fact that now those will be cut down, is killing me.
I remember each and every tree on the campus of the cattle breeding farm which, unfortunately, is the point where the inauguration for the new IIT Mandi was laid. It had so many trees around it. I am so sad that all that is going to be lost to the coming generations. Is it not ironic that the newspapers reported on 10 September, 2009, of the impending cutting of so many trees to make way for IIT Mandi at Kamand and followed by statement of environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahugana to save trees in Himachal. Doesn’t someone take notice of the sheer irony of news reports coming barely at the difference of one day?
I hope Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal listens to my feeble voice or the HRD minister Kapil Sibal takes notice of my pleas!
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