Recently, the brutal death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala sparked massive outrage on social media. Animal activists and others demanded strict action against the culprits after heart-wrenching pictures of the dying animal went viral.
While it was good to see people raising their voice against the brutal killing, there have been times when we, in India, let some ecological crimes slip through without punishment.
1. A massive fire has been raging in a natural gas well in Assam causing huge destruction to nature.
Smoke from the fire that has been spewing for the last 15 days has caused largescale destruction of environment and wildlife in the area. The fire is very close to Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the eco-sensitive Maguri Mottapung wetland in Assam.
Both these areas are home to some of the endangered bird and animals species.
2. Coal mining operations in Chhattisgarh has led to the depletion of groundwater.
In just two to three years of mining process by the Adani Group, villagers in the area complain of depletion of groundwater in their vicinity.
3. Maharashtra government diverted 90 hectares of rich forest and wildlife corridor for the expansion of an ammunition unit.
The diverted land consists of rich forests and the project will involve the razing of around 1760 trees.
4. The chemical factory in Visakhapatman that recently leaked poisonous gas was running without an environmental clearance.
The polystyrene plant of LG Polymers was apparently running without mandatory clearance from the environment ministry. The factory was operating for years just on the basis of consent given by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
5. Forest departments and even villagers in the state of Jharkhand and West Bengal use fireballs to scare away elephants.
For many years, animals have been the victims of human-animal conflict in areas close to forests and wildlife sanctuaries. While the Supreme Court took cognizance of this activity and restrained the Bengal government from processing tenders for the supply of burnt mobile oil, the practice is still widely followed.
6. Several wild animals are killed every year, after being hit by speeding trains in the middle of wildlife corridors.
According to data by the Railway Ministry, as many as 35,732 wild animals have been killed in train accidents in last 4 years. Most of these incidents go unnoticed despite being in the wildlife corridors.
These incidents also needed our attention, but we conveniently ignored them. Maybe if we had spoken then, things would have been entirely different.