Sunday, October 25, 2020

Green warriors march in protest against tree felling for Doon airport expansion

Dehradun: People from different walks of life gathered at the Gandhi Park in Dehradun on Sunday and took out an awareness march to the mosque in Paltan Bazaar, a distance of 1.2 km, and back, to protest against the government’s decision to fell over 10,000 trees in the Shivalik Elephant Reserve in order to provide land for the expansion of the Jolly Grant airport. A street play to generate awareness on rampant tree felling and its impact was also enacted.

To recall, hundreds of activists had gathered at Thano near the airport in a similar protest last Sunday. The issue of tree felling for the airport expansion had first been highlighted by TOI in a report earlier this month.

The protesters also reacted sharply against the recent statement by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat that the protests were “a political ploy against the government” and that expansion of the airport will “only bring prosperity to the state.” “It is ironic that the government is deviating from basic science by claiming that the trees they plan to fell have less value in the ecosystem. They are planning to fell trees such as khair, sagoon, haldu, kanju, etc that have ‘broad leaves’ and are known to be good at carbon sequestration. The state government needs to create jobs, improve the education system and deal with corruption with an iron hand rather that building an international airport at the cost of our greenery and the ecosystem,” said Jagdamba Prasad Maithani of the NGO, Alaknanda Ghaati Shilpi (AAGAAS) Federation.

25/10/20 Shivani Azad/Times of India

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