The volunteers of Citizens for Green Doon (CFGD), an organisation promoting greenery, have drafted a green election manifesto with the demand that every candidate must sign it to receive their support in the assembly election. The CFGD has already pointed out that around 45,000 trees have been cut in Doon for public projects since the formation of the state.
CFGD volunteers are demanding that every candidate must promise that he/she will plant 2,000 trees every year from his/her MLA fund, install 100 solar street lights every year, construct one public toilet in his/her constituency, develop one park every year and make all footpaths in his/her constituency encroachment free.
"We have been meeting candidates from different political parties and asking them to support our green manifesto and take a pledge that they will fulfill the conditions in the manifesto to get our support," Nitin Pandey, CFGD member, told Hindustan Times.
He also rued the fact that concern for environmental issues was missing in the manifestos of national and regional parties.
Till date, three candidates — Harbans Kapoor, Rajkumar and Sanjay Bhatt —have given in writing that they would follow all the points of the green manifesto. Activist Sanjay Bhatt had also filed a RTI on the cutting of trees for widening the road at Lansdowne Chowk which had revealed that 54 trees had been cut against the sanction for 17.
Petitioner Bunty Chopra, who lives in Chandroti village in Dehradun, had filed a writ petition in Uttarakhand high court on the felling of trees in the city. He had found out through the Right to Information Act (RTI) that around 9,000 trees had been cut in the name of ‘road widening’ in the city. The trees that had been planted by the forest department were a mere 1,860. On being asked who gave the permission for cutting the trees, the DM, mayor and the DFO denied passing orders. According to those opposed to tree felling, the orders had been given verbally by the authorities and any written record might not exist.
The DM, DFO and mayor were asked to give affidavits on the cutting of trees. Bunty has also asked the authorities to give account of the money generated by the sale of the wood of these trees.