Biodiversity and the Built Environment

To understand the interrelation, rather the interdependency of the biodiversity and the built infrastructure of the region, one must again look at the Ganges and how it has been harnessed for the needs of human kind. Again, it must be noted that manipulating nature is not a recent phenomenon. However, it recent times the degree of technological development has led to unprecedented developments, which in turn, define the biodiversity of the region. Take for instance, the 160-year-old Ganges canal super-passages. When the Ganges Canal were inaugurated in 1854, it was the largest and costliest man-made waterway in the world. Built to provide irrigation between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in northern India. According to Anthony Acciavatti’s book, Ganges water machines, during the monsoon, the river along with the many streams that drain into it achieve dangerous volume and speed. It is due to this reason, that almost a fourth of the total budget spent on the canals were used to create in passages that reduce the pressure on the built structures. Interestingly, these marvels of engineering remain unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Another important factor of the biodiversity of Bulandshahr is the presence of the Nuclear Power Plant at Narora. At Narora, the barrages on the Ganga divert a large amount of the river water to downstream canals. However, the 922.7 meter long, Choudhary Charanish Barrage diverts up to 240 cubic meters per second to the thermal power plant at the Atomic Power Station at Narora and other industrial and urban areas. However, the most fascinating aspect of these barrages built between 1962 and 1967 is its one of a kind “fish pass.” The fish pass was included in the structure to facilitate the movement of fishes along the river. Perhaps, the most fascinating aspect of these enormous structures is the consciousness of its creators regarding pattern of movements of the fish and the creation of a functional design which is accommodative of the aquatic life.

Therefore, it becomes evident that there exists a tripartite relationship between the biodiversity of the region, the technological infrastructure, and the history of the region which are inextricably embedded in the nuanced legacy of Bulandshahr.

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