The Uttarakhand government has participated in the national wildlife board’s (NWB) approval to transfer 243 acres of land of the Shivalik Elephant Reserve forest to the airport’s authority of India to expand Dehradun airport. From the last 2-3 years, almost 50k+ trees have vanished just for the name of development like all-weather roads, Highways, and Airport expansion. And now again to expand Dehradun airport 10K trees will cut in Thano Forest.
10K tree will cut to expand the Dehradun Airport, 243 acres of land has approved
Thano forest which is located in the forest Dehradun Block of Dehradun District in State Uttrakhand. It is nearly 10 km far from the main city of Dehradun and 26 km from Rishikesh and just 4km from Jolly Grant, Dehradun airport. Thano is not just one of the premium elephant reserve in the country but also home for leopard, cheetah, sambhar, peacock, monkeys, and many other wild animals and birds. The area falling under the proposed expansion comes within a 10 km radius of the Rajaji National Park which is an Eco-sensitive Zone.
According to the proposal, to expand the Dehradun airport a total of 9745 trees will be cut in Thano forest. It will Include precious species of trees like Sheesham, Khair, Gulmohar, Sagon, and other different varieties. Experts say that some trees are older than 100-120 years old which would be nearly impossible to regrow and regenerate them. Climate specialists and Conservationists say that it will be very dangerous to our climate and for the animals living here. Therefore, it can cause weather change in Doiwala and Dehradun region and can impact on the wildlife and region’s biodiversity.
Chipko Movement in 2020
On Sunday many NGOs, climate and social activists, local people, and youth come together to save the forest area. Foundations Like Himalaya Putra, ASK group, Mitti Foundation, Dristikon, HSI, MAD(Make A Difference) Foundation, FFI Organisation, and localists participate in the movement. They made the human Chain and tied the thread on trees as “Raksha Sutra” and named it to “Chipko Movement” to protect them. People said that if they cut trees, they will have to cut their bodies first. Youth comes with the banners in which the following lines are written: “#SaveThanoForest“, “Stop cutting the trees“, “This planet is not for Sale“. And many more environmental awareness and deforestation related slogans and songs presented by the groups.
The president of “Dristikon Samiti” said that “Today our culture and ecosystem is in Danger. Uttrakhand is known for its vegetation, forest, Mountains, tourism, jungle safari, and many other adventurous sports. It is very Unfortunate to us that trees are cutting down on a very large scale”.
Environmentalist Ravi Chopra said, “The slopes of the Shivalik ranges are extremely prone to erosion and therefore need a green cover to remain stable. Cutting the trees here and planting them “elsewhere” will not save these slopes. The instability of the slopes will become a critical issue.”
Experts say that the small Himalayan state has witnessed extensive fragmentation of wildlife due to deforestation.
Few Point to highlighted from yesterday protest:
- This area falls under high conservative value and also the fragmentation of riverside forests. It is an eco-sensitive zone. Govt. is mentioning we will cut one tree and plant 17 trees in other areas. But the growth percentage is not even 30% and it will take approx 30- 40 years to reflect.
- There is no any alternative plans mention overdraft sent to EIA. No one is acting on Climate change.
- Elevation and Soil: Why govt. is planning here if the people of the area are disagreeing with this proposal. This area also comes under seismic zone 4 (earthquake zone 4).
- Govt is saying there is no wildlife but every month people use to see animals even inside the airport. As per the article of Feb 2020 Amar Ujala. They mention there was a deer inside the airport spotted.
Know we need to stand for those who can’t speak for themselves. We as a voter have the rights to decide what we want in our area. Actually, this area does not even belong to us or any humans. It is the habitat of thousands of animals and birds. Still, the government is taking the life of those who can not speak or vote for the govt.
This is not the only project which the government is thinking of there are many more to come. This time we need to show our support on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook by mention #savethano #thanobachao #savethanoforest hashtags. Suggestion for the reader is Tag the picture of animals near Thano and tag EIA and Central govt.
(The view express in the article are the author’s own!…)
Have a Nice Day!