Citizens stage protest against tree felling for Delhi-Dehradun Expressway expansion

Monday, 04 April 2022 | PNS | Dehradun

Several residents of Dehradun staged a protest called ‘Vinaash ka Virodh’ near the Asarodhi check post on Sunday against the planned felling of thousands of trees for the expansion of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway on the outskirts of Dehradun. The protest was called by the local group- Citizens For Green Doon (CFGD) which was supported by various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activist groups like Friends of Doon, Do No Trash, Swach Parivesh, Titli Trust, Ecogroup and Parashakti among many others. The protesting activists opined that  the ignorant and gullible masses are considering this expansion of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway a great development as it will reduce the travel time to only about two and a half hours and will boost tourism in the state. However, they remain blind to the devastating fact that this project will also convert Dehradun into a hot, inhospitable, polluted and crowded city like plenty of others in the country. An activist and member of a CFGD, Himanshu Arora said that Sal trees cannot be grown artificially and they will be lost to the city forever once they are felled by the authorities along with the rich biodiversity of the area. He said that CFGD brought these points to the notice of the court through its petition to restrict the plan from being executed and rethink the felling though the ruling in the case suggested appointing a study on Sal forests and formed a committee of government officials which has no citizen’s representatives onboard to overlook the construction of this expressway. The activists said that such destruction of the environment in the name of development will push the residents into poor health, climate change and ultimately destruction. The activists of Swaraj India said, “We urge the government to immediately halt the plan of felling trees and start a dialogue process with the people and the environmental groups to develop a sustainable solution.”According to retired professor Anand Kumar, “Felling of trees in Rajaji National Park area is quite disturbing as it has no reasonable basis. It deserves national attention so that this crime against nature could stop immediately.” The activists said that forests are a major defence against issues like global warming and they will continue to raise their voices to draw attention to this needless massacre of the state’s treasure and the well being of the planet and future generations.

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