CFGD members stopped by armed policemen a short distance from CM's residence
Adopting a unique way of getting their point of view across to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, activists of Citizens For Green Doon left a six foot long post card at his residence last Wednesday.
“We have requested for an appointment to meet the Chief Minister six times in the last 5 months, but each time it has been turned down. Unfortunately, since the CM is also the Forest Minister, and as our struggle is for trees we need to meet him” explains Ruchi Sing Rao, a CFGD member.
The six foot postcard was made of wood and was addressed to the CM. A letter detailing their suggestions was pasted on the obverse and members signed the postcard before marching silently in a procession to the CM’s house in Yamuna Colony.
“We have met government officials from the DFO to the Chief Secretary” said Venu Dhingra, a CFGD member. “While everyone agrees with our suggestions, nothing concrete has happened” she lamented. Among the issues listed in the letter, is the need to issue a Government Order (GO) to institutionalize tree transplantation in Uttarakhand, amending the Uttarakhand Forest Act to increase transparency in decision making and broad base the decision of tree felling. It also calls for enhancing the fine for illegal tree felling from Rs 5,000/- to Rs 50,000/-, as the present level has no deterrence value and for early implementation of government’s proposal for a complete ban on plastic carry bags in Uttarakhand. It also requests the government to withdraw VAT on cloth & jute carry bags in order to make them more economical to promote their use.
Their march was however halted by a posse of policemen, some of them holding guns, at a police barrier, short of the CM’s residence. After some discussions, a personal staffer of the CM, Mr. Bhatt, received the postcard on his behalf. A crowd of curious onlookers had gathered on seeing the giant postcard.
Among those who participated in the rally, included Dr Nitin Pandey, Himanshu Arora, Archana Chettri, Ravi Maheshwari, Navdeep Singh Jaggi, Harminder Singh & Sonia Pandey.
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