Formulation of a long term policy to save the trees of Dehradun

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Sir,

 The citizens of Dehradun submit hereunder:-

 Uttarakhand is a land of hills, mountains, forests, rivers, streams, canals, rich flora and fauna. These are our natural heritage and we must conserve and preserve them. However, inspite of the receding water table and increasing pollution, we are reducing our trees by unnecessary felling in the name of development.

 In recent times, the existing 100 to 200 year old trees have been weakened by concretization around the base of these trees. As a result, the forest department finds an excuse in the tree becoming weak when they need to remove the concrete and use means to save the existing trees. A case in point is the area outside N.I.V.H., Rajpur Road which should never have been concretised.

 Uttarakhand, being a tourist state, attracts people due to its natural beauty which includes our trees, rivers and mountains. Plantation of new saplings cannot compensate for the existing trees which are a haven of bio diversity that we have inherited. The loss can never be recovered.

 It is imperative that the government clarifies its stand and sticks to stringent rules regarding cutting of trees. On the news of one banyan tree being chopped as per an order related to proposed felling of thirteen trees resulted in massive public outrage leading to protest at the Rajpur Road site and social media. Consequently, the forest department reviewed its order and realized that most of the trees need not be felled. This shows that we should not take hasty decisions.

 You are humbly requested to ensure that:

 i)                   The healthy two hundred year old trees along Rajpur Road, especially, the ones outside N.I.V.H. are not unnecessarily disturbed as they are part of our natural heritage and need our protection.

ii)                The concrete around the base of these trees as well as others all over Dehradun be removed so that the trees may be saved.

iii)              The State formulate a long term policy regarding the existing trees with strict norms regarding felling.

iv)              The State should include large scale plantation and afforestation to increase the forest cover in Uttarakhand.

v)                The State should include in its policy means to reduce carbon emissions.

vi)              The State should take the opinion of the large existing think tank of experienced people in making the policy.

vii)           Whenever any tree needs to be cut for the sake of road widening or public interest, feedback from the civil society and residents of Doon Valley should be taken.

                                                                  The residents of Doon Valley



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