A recreation of the historic 'Chipko Movement' in Dehradun was seen on Sunday as hundreds gathered to oppose felling of 10,000 trees for expansion of the airport.
Activists and environmentalists are concerned with the move as cutting trees in the Thano range of the Dehradun forest division could affect wildlife movement in the elephant corridors and change the course of a river in the vicinity of the forest.
Hundreds of locals of Thano, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Bhaniyawala gathered and tied 'Raksha Sutras' to the trees pledging to protect them. Apart from this, slogans were raised on protecting the forests with some hugging trees after tying the Raksha Sutra.
"Thano forest works as the carbon and pollution sink of Dehradun, keeping it free of pollution issues," a protestor said. His main concern is to find a way to develop plans which will allow future generations to feel and benefit from the natural resources.
The residents of Dehradun have also started a campaign on urging the government to rethink over this decision. Many experts are pointing out at the problems stated that are coming with the development projects in Uttarakhand.
The protesters also expressed their concern over the government wanting to copy the development models of the plains in the hills and it would not be a sustainability action plan for the development of the state.
Further, the Uttarakhand government has sought the National Wildlife Board (NWB)'s approval to transfer 243 acres of forest land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for expanding the airport.