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Protests stop tree felling at Presidents “Ashiana” in Jakhan

Dr Nitin Pandey


Protests at Rashtrapati Ashiana
Protests at Rashtrapati Ashiana

Angry protests by members of Citizens For Green Doon on Sunday morning forced authorities at the Presidents Body Guard’s “Ashiana” to stop tree felling in the compound. As news of tree felling in the PBG campus in spite of the recent DM’s orders to stop tree felling in Dehradun spread, members of the group reached the spot and staged a demonstration. It may be recalled that a few days ago DM Dehradun in a sworn affidavit filed in the Uttarakhand High Court, in response to a PIL filed by Mr. Bunty Chopra, had said that for the moment all tree felling had been stopped in Dehradun.

The JCO in charge of the Ashiana informed the members that he had received permission of the DFO a few months ago to cut 84 green native trees, in order to grow mango trees instead. This drew protests from the crowd who pointed out that cutting 85 fully grown green native trees for growing mangoes was not acceptable and wondered how the DFO could give permission for cutting precious trees like tun on such flimsy grounds. Mrs Laksha Mehta, an environmental activist, said that she was very sure that if the President knew about this plan, she would be aghast.

The JCO in charge then rang up his superiors in New Delhi who asked him to stop the felling and said that they will look into the matter. Mr Bunty Chopra, who too reached the spot, said that this action was tantamount to contempt of court, but the DFO was to blame as he should have rescinded all permissions given by him, as the matter was sub-judice.

Mr. Veeru Gairola, another CFGD activist, also pointed out that the permission specifically mentioned 84 trees which were along the security perimeter of the campus, while the trees which were being cut were far away from the perimeter wall. Mr. Shubendra Singh pointed out that the tree which was cut was that of Tun, for which specific permission was required, while the permission mentioned trees which do not require permission to be cut.

The members of CFGD later staged a noisy demonstration at the gates of the President’s Body Guard protesting against the felling and also raised slogans against the DFO for giving permission for mass felling of healthy native green trees on such flimsy grounds.

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From: Shantih
Request to Rashtrapati mahoday jee and DM - please make a mini Botanic Garden like Rashtrapati Bhavan garden at Ashiyana ( and part of it in NIVH near it) DehraDun. -- Designed by Botany Division of Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehra Dun & Non Wood Forest Product Division (FRI) , Office of Botanical Survey of India, Northern Regional Centre, 192-Kaulagarh Road, Dehradun. Used for morning walk nature-trail for elders and kids below 11 years ... pony rides for kids on some special days, Herbal Gyan Kendra for extension and dissemination of knowledge on herbs , fruits , flowers for school children. It can showcase floriculture, horticulture , organic gardening /farming , ecology , climate-change, sustainability-science. - Retired FRI botanist , eco-task force & PB Guards, senior citizens , volunteers and school kids can make & maintain the Garden.