INDIA GREENS PARTY
IGP appeals to Prime Minister Modi to abandon Dehradun Airport expansion plan to save sensitive Ecosystems
Unchir, Pauri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, 16 October 2020: The India Greens Party (IGP) today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abandon the expansion plan of the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun in Uttarakhand to save the ecological systems in the area.
In its petition emailed to the Prime Minister today, the IGP said over 10,000 trees will be felled if the National Wildlife Board (NWLB) does not stop the expansion plan of the Jolly Grant Dehradun Airport.
The Uttarakhand Government has sought the NWLB’s approval to transfer 243 acres of forest land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for expanding the Jolly Grant Dehradun Airport.
The IGP President Suresh Nautiyal said that being chairperson of the NWLB the Prime Minister should not allow expansion programme of the Dehradun Airport as the Thano range of the Dehradun forest division to which the airport is proposed to be expanded comes within a 10-km radius of the Rajaji National Park Eco-Sensitive Zone.
The Jolly Grant Dehradun Airport is proposed to be expanded from the current length of 2,140 metres to 2,765 metres with the construction of an additional 625-metre stretch for the runway.
The IGP hoped that the NWLB would not allow the expansion of an airport at the cost of 10,000 precious life-giving trees and ecosystems. The move to cut the trees in the Thano range could also affect wildlife movement in the elephant corridors.
Mr Nautiyal said animals living there will lose their habitat. Wild animals like Leopards, Porcupines, Wild cats, Elephants, Deer, Owls, Eagles, Anteaters, Wild boars, Hares, Snakes, Monkeys all are found there in good population.
There is an elephant corridor nearby and the elephants are a common sight in this area. Besides, rare species like Pangolin and Monitor lizard have also been sighted there. The area is a thick forest with many animals and birds living there.
The party said the extensive construction and widening of roads in Uttarakhand and other Himalayan states in recent years have already caused huge damage to the ecological systems.
In view of this, the IGP requested the Prime Minister to let the airport be as it is without harming the surrounding ecosystems.
“Our future generations need good environment to breathe freely without masks,” the IGP President said in the email sent to the Prime Minister.
The IGP also requested Mr Modi to democratise the NWLB which has not met for a long period of time. “The policy decisions and clearances come from a Standing Committee which is not broad-based. The wildlife experts who spent decades of their life for saving wildlife have been kept away from the Board. We fail to understand why only retired forest officers have found a place in the Board,” the IGP wondered.
-Press Statement issued by the IGP Spokesperson (North) Rafat Jamal.
(India Greens Party is registered with the Election Commission of India under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Registration Number: 56/476/2018-19/PPS-I, effective from 18/07/2019.)
Party HQ: 104, Vardhman Complex, 1st Floor, LSC, Savita Vihar, Delhi-110092.