Mountain man’ Dr Anil Joshi: “There should be no aggressive development projects in the hills”

Hear ecologist Dr Anil Joshi as he shares several concerns and recommendations critical to preserving fragile hill ecology, as in Joshimath.

“The pace of the Char Dham road project must be reduced to four kilometres a month from the present 40 kms a month. That is the only way to preserve the ecology of the region.” That was one of the many policy and governance issues recommended by Dehradun-based Dr Anil P Joshi in an exclusive interview with Citizen Matters in the wake of the land subsidence incident in Joshimath. Which, Dr Joshi emphasised, is very different from land slips, which are a completely different phenomenon.

The interview covered a range of issues and recommendations for preserving the fragile Himalayan ecology. Like avoiding aggressive development, such as big hydro power and road projects, strong involvement of local communities in all development planning, the need for a scientific approach to planning based on studies and local knowledge.

Joshimatch. Car covered by ecent heavy snowfall in Joshimath
A snow covered car in Joshimath with slogan “NTPC go back”, a reference to the hydro project being built nearby which people of Joshimatch say is responsible for the soil subsidence and damage to their homes.

And to preserve the livelihood of the hill top villages by adopting what he described as “cluster approach by clubbing a group of villages and settlements, providing them with proper civic amenities and encouraging their traditional livelihoods with modern agriculture and horticulture practices unique to that area”.


Read more: Char Dham highway project will only add to urban woes


Regulating tourism, says Dr Joshi, is necessary given that the hill towns have already “exceeded their carrying capacity”. Among measures that the government can consider were “extending the months when the state’s major shrines can be open and also by initiating measures that would keep the numbers manageable.”

Watch the entire interview here:

Dr Joshi has been working for four decades on ecology inclusive economic issues, especially in preserving the ecology of the Himalayan. He heads a socio-scientific organisation called Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conversation Organization (HESCO).

Dr Anil Joshi has been known as the “mountain man” for his work on ecological issues in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in particular. Regarding Joshimath in particular, he admitted that the coming monsoon season could pose severe problems for the area.

After quitting his job as Reader in the Government P.G College, Dr Joshi’s emphasis has been on local resource-based rural development and community empowerment, particularly mountain regions. Like persuading local shrines to promote offerings made of local crops to address forward and backward linkage.

He motivated various shrines, especially Vaishno Devi, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, where offerings (Prasad) made from local grains promoting local crops and economy.

Dr Joshi’s advice to the frightened people of Joshimath: “Governments will come and go. But we are the local people. We understand our ecosystem and so should not aspire beyond the limit of nature”.

Also read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Smothered by smog: Struggle of vegetable vendors in Delhi’s Keshopur Mandi

Delhi's air pollution affects every resident, but for the urban poor, like vegetable vendors of Keshopur Mandi, it is much worse.

Halfway through our interview, vegetable vendor Rekha asked me point blank, “Isse kya hoga,” and at that moment, I could not think of an answer. She was right and had every reason to be hopeless. Much has been written about air pollution and much energy has been spent on expert committees and political debates and yet nothing has changed.  “Hum toh garib log hai, hum kisko jakar bole, hamari sunvai nahin hoti” (We are poor people, to whom do we go, nobody listens to us),” says Rekha Devi, who sells vegetables in the Keshopur Mandi. Keshopur is a large retail…

Similar Story

Study shows TNPCB ill-equipped to monitor the environmental impact of pollution

The scientific team of TNPCB is working at half its strength, affecting the Board's ability to carry out inspections in Chennai and other parts of the State.

The Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Boards are the primary custodians for preventing and controlling all forms of pollution in our country. Despite their significant role in environmental protection, the public is mostly unaware of the functions of these regulatory bodies, due to insufficient research. Therefore, we at Citizen consumer & civic Action Group (CAG) have attempted to understand the functions of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), through a study titled ‘The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in Retrospect: An Examination of Selected Parameters from 2017 to 2022.’ Read more: Fisherfolk lament as environmental…