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Sports Students carry on the “lonely” Struggle to save trees.

Dr Nitin Pandey

7-Jan-2009

Campaign against cutting down of green trees around Parade Ground
Two weeks after 15 trees were mercilessly chopped in Parade Ground, the students of Sports College, Dehra Dun, continued their efforts to prevent the administration from bringing down the remaining trees. On 22nd July, under the leadership of their President, Jasvinder Singh Goggi, about 80 students along with 10 other supporters, marched into the Dehra Dun Municipality and met the Mayor of Dehra Dun, Mr Vinod Chamoli.

Says Jasvinder Singh Goggi “Since it was the Dehra Dun Municipality which originated the request to cut the trees around Parade Ground, we thought it would be productive to meet the Mayor”. Even though the Mayor gave them a patient listening, he apparently remained unconvinced, stressing more on the need to develop wider roads, rather than maintaining the greenery of Dehra Dun. He, however, did assure them of another meeting with various government departments within 2 weeks to take the final call.

Most of the students point out that since the introduction of one way, traffic around the Parade Ground was by and large smooth except at the Lansdowne Chowk, where shops encroaching on the pavement and buses parked on the road, waiting for customers, contribute to traffic congestion and it is wrong to blame the trees for it. These must be corrected before anyone thinks about trees added a student.

Ajay George, another sportsperson and a vocal green activist, says that the administration has converted the Chakrata Road and Haridwar Road into treeless barren places where “on a sunny day, it is difficult to find a spot of shade to stand under. I remember when about 2 years ago both the roads were lined with huge, shade giving trees! I will not let them do the same to Parade Ground”. According to Jasvinder Goggi, the Mayor inadvertently revealed to them that after cutting down the Parade Ground and Gandhi Park trees, the administration then planned to chop down the trees on both sides of Shasthradhara Road!

Campaign against cutting down of green trees around Parade Ground
“They are going to turn Dehra Dun into a desert” laments Raju, another sportsperson turned green activist. “Saharanpur Road and Chakrata Road have a perennial traffic congestion problem, yet the authorities, apparently under pressure from influential people, are concentrating on soft targets, which in fact, have no traffic problem at all!”

On a sadder note, Goggi says that apart from phone calls from his friends, people of Dehradun seem to be oblivious to their struggle to protect the greenery of Doon. Just ten people, other than members of the Sports club, turned up this Wednesday for their march to the Municipality. “Either it means that people are not worried about the unending cutting down of trees or are too busy to spare a moment to lend their voice to the cause. I have lived my life playing among the trees of Dehradun and I cannot be a silent spectator to the carnage” says Goggi, with sad eyes. “None of the dozens of NGO’s in Dehradun have thought it fight to lend this cause their ears” added George, in agreement. And to add salt to the wound, a local daily recently had criticized the students saying that Sports students should concentrate on sports instead of worrying about the environment!

Asked about their future plan of action, Jasvinder stated that they are planning a quite sit-in among the trees of Parade Ground, next Sunday, the 2nd of August. “We will sit silently among the trees at 11am for half an hour to demonstrate our love for them. No slogans, no agitation, just silent protest. We urge the citizens of Doon, the students of various schools and colleges, the NGO’s, and everyone who is concerned about Dehra Dun, to spare half an hour for this noble cause and join us in the sit – in. It would be nice if people could bring their own posters or placards to drive home the message.” Students also plan to sign a petition to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on the day, urging his intervention to save our City.

“It has been a lonely road so far” says Goggi, summing up his feelings “we hope the people of Doon will now join us, before it is too late, to unequivocally give a message to the city administration that Doonites will not stand by mutely as this city is denuded of its green cover!”



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Date30-Dec-15
From: Hope you are all feeling btteer.We had some snow .I plan to buy lots of steak at the grocery store and stock up the refrigerator for Saturday.I will be sure to have all bathrooms clean and working well,just in case.I really miss you Adrian but hope this t
Hope you are all feeling btteer.We had some snow .I plan to buy lots of steak at the grocery store and stock up the refrigerator for Saturday.I will be sure to have all bathrooms clean and working well,just in case.I really miss you Adrian but hope this trip has brought fun and life long memories.Love-Mom


Date14-Oct-15
From: I was imagining you in Bangalore! How nice to be in Mussoorie. My patenrs honeymooned for a month in Nainital and other places but we never visited again. Is that where your nephew will be residing or just the venue of the wedding? Either way, sounds w
I was imagining you in Bangalore! How nice to be in Mussoorie. My patenrs honeymooned for a month in Nainital and other places but we never visited again. Is that where your nephew will be residing or just the venue of the wedding? Either way, sounds wonderful. Does Shane look like a McMahon?Looking forward to pics, like everyone else!Carol McFarlane




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