Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Chandigarh

Urban delights planet sorrows

Yadavindra S Rana | April 10, 2021 07:11 PM

CHANDIGARH: Second wave of COVID-19 are writings on the wall of urbanization and its perils for
humankind. Beginning of the century marks a great milestone in the human saga when majority of
people will be living in vast urban areas.

Millions of people huddled together and stacked on top of
each other in gigantic urban centres is becoming a new phenomemon inviting pandemic. Some 200
years ago, most of the people could not meet people other than his family members or close
relatives through out his life. Today, a man in mega cities can live and work amongst thousands of
people within radius of his home or office.
At present, more than 450 cities boast populations of a million or more people and there does
not seem no end in sight to the urbanization process because human species is growing at an
alarming rate. Thousands of children are born every day on the earth and human population is
expected to increase to nine billion by 2042, majority of them living in most dense and dangerous
urban mega cities.
Dr Ritesh Arya, renowned geologist who is against mindless urbanization at the cost of human
lives said that as long as the human race had to rely on solar flow, the winds and currents, animal
and human power to sustain life, human population remained relatively low to accommodate
nature’s carrying capacity. “We are exhuming of large amounts of stored sun, coal deposits, oil and
natural gas beneath the surface of the earth. The unprecedented increase in productivity led to the
runaway growth of population and the urbanization that has now acquired a dangerous trend.
Our burgeoning population and urbanization way of life has been purchased at the cost of
the demise of the earth’s vast ecosystems and habitats. If we think for awhile on the number of
creatures and earth’s resources we have consumed in our lifetime, we would be aghast at the
carnage and depletion that has caused to secure our existence. Human species now consumes
nearly 40 per cent of the net primary production on earth but in turn gives one half of one per cent
of animal biomass of the planet.
As we are celebrating the urbanization on daily basis, we are quickly approaching another
historic watershed, the disappearance of the wild and scientists are opined that within the lifetime
of today’s children, the wild will disappear from the earth after millions of its existence. Thus, an
invitation to pandemics. Most of wild areas are fast diminishing with each passing day. By 2100 two-
thirds of the earth’s remaining species are likely to banish.
It boggles the mind to see 1000 cities of nearly one million or more inhabitants in 35
years from now. The commemoration of the urbanization of human race in 2007 might be a lesson
for us to learn to rethink the way we live on this planet.
In the race of urbanization we have shut off the human race from the rest of the natural
world in the belief that human has the power to conquer, colonize and utilize the rich largesse of the
planet to ensure our complete autonomy but this thinking is a roadmap to our destruction. Need of
the hour is to find a way to reintegrate ourselves back with the living earth if we really hope for
preserve human species and conserve the planet for our fellow creatures. Otherwise, more
pandemics are waiting to strike human species in future.

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