Enroute Dehradun to Mussoorie via Rajpur there are few streams/ streamlets/ creeks/brooks and falls both natural as well as artificial. Just after crossing the famous Shiv Mandir there was one small fall.This beautiful streamlet was fully charged with water last year but is almost dry this year. Till last year water from the stream used to rush over the road occasionally creating traffic congestion. One can now observe water trickling down through the weathered rocks covered with algae.
Apart from the above-mentioned fall there are many streams, creeks, Brooks along the course of Himalayas which are slowly dying away. Besides being source of freshwater these streamlets, creeks and brooks add to the natural beauty of this hilly metalled road.These streams are also microhabitats of many organisms.The passersby also quench their thirst, clean their vehicles etc. The local roadside Maggi-points and other foodstalls are also dependant on these streams for their day to day requirements. Few of these streams have spiritual values attached along with them too. For the tourists, these streams are usual halts for taking selfies and photography.
The Mussoorie hills were once covered with enormous forests. The flora as well as fauna was fully thriving. But with rapid urbanisation there was massive deterioration in the forest cover and landuse changes under forest cover. The numerous streams, creeks etc slowly started receding and eventually lost.These streams are charged when the water table and aquifers are saturated. Monsoon is very important for the charging of the water table. It has been scientifically proven that forests help in upholding moisture levels and inter alia help in restoring ground water level. The plant roots prevent surface run-off.
Irregular monsoon pattern, rapid urbanisation, pollution, overpopulation, insensitive approach of humans towards nature are few of the negative factors which paved way for environment degradation and biodiversity loss. With the aid of certain government initiatives, ban on ‘single use plastics’ has worked wonders with the removal of plastic waste (the traffic is very busy usually on weekends with tourists pouring in Mussoorie for vacations and polluting. Incedents of rash driving and overtaking is also high during these days). Similar is the situation of hundreds of forest streams which are dying due to, climate change, global warming, environmental degradation and insanity of human beings.
Save the forests for safe future!!!