Prevent an ecological blunder: Save Dehradun tea estate
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Dear fellow citizens,
What comes to mind when you hear this name.... ‘Dehradun’….
A beautiful valley on the foothills of Himalaya famous for its scenic grandeur and beautiful weather.
Anyone who has spent time in Dehradun in its glorious past must be still left with fond memories of those days. To top it all the internationally famous education system of Dehradun has been successful in training young minds to be aware and intelligent citizens. It could not be mere coincidence that likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have visited Dehradun to tap the potential of Dehradun.
It is an irony that Dehradun, once set to become a model smart city of India has been steered towards a road of decay through poor planning and mismanagement. Ideally, considering the seismic zone of 4, the authorities should have prepared a well planned blue print of the capital in consultation with the scientists and experts. All the development should have aimed at preservation of ecological balance of the area. We cannot ignore the great damage the fragile ecology has been taking each passing day in front of our eyes. Drying of river due to siltation and illegal construction in and around Dehradun city has given space for dumping garbage and slum dwellers which has further multiplied the problems of solid waste disposal, safe drinking water and noise pollution in the valley.
The resource and environmental degradation scenario seems very disturbing in district of Dehradun having pernicious impact on neighboring districts and natural resources. If we take a u turn and see what makes Dehradun so unique, then we would be able to identify the areas of development and restoration. For ex, if we identify that the loss of Basmati fileds has resulted not only losing a legacy that includes the green factor as well economic stability, then it is of paramount importance that we ‘restore and revive’ it. We have to look upon growth as sustainable development with main focus on preserving the practices of life and commerce that supports the ecological balance .
In the past we (Citizens of Dehradun) have shown complete faith in the working of the government & bureaucracy and that has proved to be our gravest misjudgment so far. By the time we could have realized it, we have lost thousands and thousands of lush trees, the British wonder of canal system, the fresh water rivers Rispana and Bindal, the abundance of fresh air and water, peace of mind.
Recently the citizens of Dehradun received a new ray of hope with inclusion of Dehradun in ‘smart city’ project. Everyone was looking forward to seeing a revival of the city through sustainable development. SO, it was disheartening to witness that once again in the name of development the ecology of Dehradun depletes further. Government decided to lay the foundation of Smart city over a heritage that is 150 years old 1127 acres of tea estate at Harbanswala. The tea estate rather than being revived and restored , is rendered as a useless property to be used to make a concrete jungle.
The state government is, therefore, obliged to attend to these issues urgently in the larger interest of the State.
We, citizens of Dehradun, request Government to immediately change its decision to acquire tea estate and rework on smart city project in a way that inspires and give boost to sustainable development. The tea estate should be utilized for only one purpose ie. Tree plantation. If implemented, this decision of government would have a long term impact on fragile ecology of Dehradun for generations to come.
Hemant Nav Kumar
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