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Development as destruction: The death of Pushkar Valley

By PN Team Posted on Jul, 03 2017

 The Pushkar valley, once known for its rose cultivation, green hilly tracks, water bodies and sand dunes, is quickly losing out to modern urban living. While the actual increase in human population may have been minor, both legal and illegal construction and indiscriminate use of water bodies have taken a toll on the flora and fauna of the holy town.



The sand dunes of Pushkar have been 'stolen' for construction activities.

"Every night, you can see tractors queuing up after dark to carry sand from the dunes. Some dunes have completely disappeared, while others have become reduced in size," said Ashok Tak, a social activist and environmentalist based in Pushkar. Locals say they have informed authorities many times, but nothing much has changed.

Air circulation creates different types dune formations, but legal and illegal construction around the city have created `stationary' dunes that become lifeless after a period of time. The advent of five-star resorts and hotels in Motisar and Devnagar has also contributed to damaging the region's ecology.

 There are reports that many resorts are deliberately creating `stationary' sand dunes by dripping water into them.These hotels and resorts carry out commercial activities like dance, dinner and tent accommodations that require stationary dunes. "The sand stolen from Pushkar's Mela Ground can be traced to several resorts that have created artificial sand dunes," said an environmental ist on condition of anonymity .Most of these hotels are owned by political leaders, liquor mafia and other influential persons.

There is indiscriminate use of groundwater by resorts and hotels that have swimming pools or artificial water bodies on the premises. Though locals raised objections several times, the authorities have failed to act against violations.



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