Home Site Map
Writings Home Page
 

Whodunit?

Mystery surrounds the identity of persons who “stole” 11 Green Trees

Dr Nitin Pandey

20-Dec-2009

People who cut the tree
Employees of the Forest Corporation cutting down a huge tree in Chakrata Road

Believe it or not, but more you scrutinize the workings of the District Forest Office in Dehradun, the cloudier things become and whether this opacity is inadvertent arising from years of lack of public scrutiny or wilfully created to hide “the ugly face” is difficult to diagnose at first glance.

The latest shocker comes in the form of the reply to an innocuous RTI query submitted to the DFO by the author of this article. The reply shocked the daylights out of those who read it and left everyone asking … “Whodunit?”.

In 2006 when the drive to widen Dehradun’s roads was at its peak, things became ugly for the trees of Chakrata Road. According to the local shopkeepers, who are willing to testify on oath, in March of that year, 11 green trees were earmarked for chopping for road widening. Two of them were massive trees in front of Capri Trade Center. Two attempts to cut them were scuttled by these shopkeepers, who protested strongly. One of them recounts how the massive tree in front of Capri provided shade to passer-by’s in the scorching summer sun. In a remarkable show of “sincerity” towards duty, workers, probably of the Forest Department, descended at 5.00am on 18th March 2006 and chopped down the trees. How one wishes that government servants of other departments were as conscientious of their duties! Leave alone reporting at 5.00am for work, they barely reach their offices at 10. This was the way the story of these 11 life giving green trees at Cannought Place ended.

This brings us back to the RTI question. The question was “Number of trees for which permission was given for felling between 2002 and 2009, on Chakrata Road from the Prabhat Cinema to beginning of Bindal Bridge.” And the answer was ZERO from 2004 to 2009 and 2 in the year 2002/3. This literally made everyone jump out of their seats. If after 2003 no permission was given to cut trees at Cannought Place, then “Whodunit?”

Images from Google Earth of March 2005 shows these trees clearly, photographs and witnesses confirm that someone cut these trees in March 2006 and as all of us can see, there are no trees now in Cannought Place. The moot question which needs to be probed is if the DFO never gave permission for tree felling in Cannought Place in the period in question, then how can anyone cut trees in broad daylight. Identities of the persons who cut the trees can easily be established from the photographs and the truth then reached. But the question is, is there anyone in the officialdom, who is interested in knowing the truth? Is “Satyamev Jayata” an old saying only?



Get Updates Get SMS Updates
Add to Google Receive SMS Updates
Top

Please comment on the article



Your Name:
Your E mail:
Comments:

Abusive, inappropriate or offensive comments are likely to be edited or deleted.


Read comments

Date30-Dec-15
From: I don think a designer purse makes any peorsn greater than anybody else. If someone feels this way, they may be regrettably mistaken. It who we are within that tends to make us specific.
I don think a designer purse makes any peorsn greater than anybody else. If someone feels this way, they may be regrettably mistaken. It who we are within that tends to make us specific.


Date14-Oct-15
From: If you are planning your trip to Rameshwaram,then here are some tips which I have cloeatld from my personal experience with the Rameshwaram Trip. Rameshwaram is an island that is located in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamilnadu, southern state of India
If you are planning your trip to Rameshwaram,then here are some tips which I have cloeatld from my personal experience with the Rameshwaram Trip. Rameshwaram is an island that is located in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamilnadu, southern state of India .This is a one among the holiest places in India which is considered as equivalant as to Kasi, the famous holy place in North India.It represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India.How to Reach Rameshwaram from ,madhurai?The nearest airport is at Madurai, 163 km from Rameshwaram.If you are going by train, you can get the direct train from Chennai to Rameshwaram or you can go to Madurai and go from there.If you are going from Chennai, there are two trains starting from chennai.(Train Number 6713 starts at 17.00 from Chennai Egmore railway station and reaches the rameshwaram at 05.15 in the next day morning.The train number 6101 starts at 19.55 and reaches the rameshwararam at 09.00 in the next day morning.) During this train journey, you can have a nice and the grandiose glimpse of the sea at the early morning while the train crosses the Pamban Bridge.Don't miss this great experience.(You can see the picture below).Place to Stay at RameshwaramThere are many private hotels and devastanam cottages available at Rameshwaram.If you want to stay at the best place and also at a budget, there is a good lodging service called Goswamy Madam which is run by some religious trust. It is a decent and peaceful place to stay.Once you get out of the train at Rameshwaram station, you can hire an auto by paying 30 Rupees to the Goswami Madam. The temple is at walkable distance from this lodging house.The Procedure Before Rameshwaram Temple DarshanYou need to know the right procedure before entering into the temple for offering your prayers.First, you should go to the seashore which is just located infront of the temple.You have to dip yourself in the sea water and come to the temple with the wet clothes.Then, you have to visit all the 22 theerthams that are located around the temple.Theethams are shallow waters of the sea extending upto some metres. There are 22 such theerthams in Rameshwaram. Hindus believe that a bath in all of these theerthams will remove our sins.Besides the temple staff, there will be some local people who will be standing infront of the temple with buckets in hand.If you negotiate with them and pay 50 Rupees per person to them, you can hire them as your assistant.They will guide you to all the theerthams and take the responsibility of pouring and showering you with the holy water of the 22 theerthams as a personal special service to you.After Shower RitualsOnce you have completed showering in sea and all the 22 theerthams, you can goback to your hotel room and change your dress.Then you can enter into the temple and pray the Lord shiva in the temple.The deity here is Lord Shiva in the name Ramanathaswamy. Once you have completed it, you will have plenty of time before catching the train to Chennai at the night.So, you can hire an auto or taxi to visit the nearest places.If you pay 250 Rupees to auto, they will cover all the places as a package trip to you.Places to See (Rameshwaram Sightseeing)You can visit Ramerpatham in which the Lord Rama's footprints are maintained in a holy temple.The other places to visit are Sita pond, Floating stones at Hanumar temple, Sugreevar pond. These are the nearest places to visit.You can visit Satchi Anjaneya Temple where the Hanuman after return from Lanka told Rama that he has seen Seetha there.(You can see the picture below).Then you can go to Panjamuga Anjaneya temple.Floating stones which were said to be used to construct the Sethu bridge by Nalan are in display.You can goto Naganatha swamy temple and Lakshmana Theertham near the temple.Then, the auto driver will take you to the Dhanushkodi,Thirupullani, Gandamadana Parvatham and Devipattanam navagraha temple.Dhanuskodi is the easternmost tip of Rameshwaram. Most of this spot is occupied by the sea during tropical cyclones.All these places will be covered withing the package trip at the cost of 250 Rupees.You can also visit Dr.Abdul Kalam's house.(This is the home town of Former President of India and now his brother is residing there.)Wish you a happy journey and may the Lord bless you with all good things in life.Sarnath




Top