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regular-article-logo Monday, 04 March 2024

Letters to the Editor: How irresponsible ecotourism is snuffing out the light and lives of fireflies

Readers write in from Nagpur, Patna, Ujjain, Muzaffarpur, Calcutta and Howrah

The Editorial Board Published 17.07.23, 04:49 AM

Sourced by the Telegraph

Snuffed out

Sir — With the monsoon clouds rolling in across the Western Ghats, the verdant forests in these parts come alive with the twinkling lights of fireflies. Monsoon is the mating season for these beetles. This spectacle has now been turned into a tourist venture with several states, especially Maharashtra, organising firefly festivals. While this has created employment opportunities for rural and tribal populations, it also poses a risk to the fireflies by interrupting their mating cycles and killing female fireflies underfoot. Irresponsible ecotourism is snuffing out the light and lives of fireflies in the Western Ghats.

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Suman Deshpande, Nagpur

Pay the price

Sir — Google has blocked links to Canadian news articles for people using its search engine and other services in the country. This is in response to a new Canadian law that requires Google to pay news publishers for using their content. This is not the first time Google has found itself in a battle with publishers. The platform has also faced lawsuits in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Germany, France and Belgium.

Google and its parent company, Alphabet, have a monopoly over the technology tools that publishers and advertisers use to buy and sell online ad space. This is eating into the ad revenue of media companies worldwide. Yet, Google does not produce any content of its own. It is only right that Google should pay media companies for displaying their content. If countries across the world join hands and pass similar laws, Google will have no option but to comply.

G. Champa, Patna

Unstable supply

Sir — The first impact of a wayward monsoon has been felt on vegetable prices, which have shot up all over the country. The red signal was first given by tomatoes, but all other vegetables have followed them on the upward price graph. The immediate reason is the disruption of the transportation system caused by the monsoon, which affects the movement of produce.

India is the largest producer of vegetables and fruits in the world after China. A large variety of crops are grown in different agro-climatic conditions. This gives the country an advantage because even if a crop fails in one area, it may succeed in another, ensuring a steady supply of produce at all times.

But this is possible only if there is good infrastructure and logistical support for storage and transportation. These facilities are lacking in most regions of the country, even though the need for them has been felt and voiced for decades. Cold storage facilities are essential for perishable vegetables such as tomatoes. They need to be stored, especially when there is excess production. This helps to avoid wastage and to ensure that the prices are stable.

Isha Tapadiya, Ujjain

Toxic place

Sir — In just one week, more than 100 million people have signed up for Meta’s new app, Threads. It is clearly giving Twitter a run for its money. But this does not say anything about either Twitter or Threads itself. Elon Musk has single-handedly been ruining the experience of using Twitter. He is doing for Mark Zuckerberg and Meta what Donald J. Trump did for George W. Bush in the United States of America. But people should not be fooled. Trading in Twitter for Threads will not improve their social media experience in anyway. Social media is a toxic place where neutrality is just not possible.

Md. Imdadullah, Muzaffarpur

Bat for change

Sir — After a month’s break following their loss to Australia in the International Cricket Council World Test Cham­pionship final, Rohit Sharma’s Men in Blue are back on the road. A fresh WTC cycle has begun with the ongoing two-Test series between India and West Indies. Cheteshwar Pujara stepping in for Rahul Dravid at number three and Virat Kohli occupying Sachin Tendulkar’s slot at number four sustained Indian cricket for close to a decade. With Pujara having been dropped and Kohli closer to his twilight years, the team management needs to place the vital cogs in the batting order. The series against West Indies might be the perfect opportunity given that the team is a shadow of its former self.

Indranil Sanyal, Calcutta

Green alternatives

Sir — India took a defining step to curb plastic pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste on July 1, 2022, when a ban was imposed on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential. One year later, the ban has triggered the development of innovative eco-alternatives and an increase in their manufacturing capacity and uptake. The introduction and use of alternatives to banned items led to the creation of new employment opportunities in sustainable green ventures. State governments and local authorities launched inventive programmes on moving towards eco-friendly alternatives. All this is encouraging.

Mrinal Kanti Kundu, Howrah

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