Lok Sabha Elections: Uttarakhand, which supplies oxygen across the country, needs green bonus, the demand is years old


Posted on 6th Apr 2024 10:49 am by rohit kumar

The Uttarakhand government has tried to prove by conducting scientific studies that the country is getting environmental services worth Rs 1 lakh crore annually from the forests of the state. If we add to this the contribution of rivers, mountains, waterfalls, and other natural resources, then it reaches more than three lakh crores, but Uttarakhand, which provides oxygen to the country, did not even get a green bonus in return.

 

There has been a demand for a Green Bonus in Uttarakhand ever since it came into existence. At the same time, such a model of development is being advocated which establishes a balance between development and environment. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is also advocating economy and ecology, but the truth is that in a hilly state like Uttarakhand, the Forest Conservation Act has become an obstacle in the path of development.

 

 

Work on 741 development schemes of the state government is not being started by 2024 because forest clearance has not been received. Of these, most of the proposals are for 614 roads. 47 cases of drinking water, five of irrigation, six transmission lines, two of hydropower projects, six of mining and 61 other cases are pending, in which 4650 hectares of forest land is to be transferred. The issue of roads is becoming hot amid the election excitement. Villagers, tired of visiting government offices, feel that boycotting the elections might draw attention to their problems.

 

Forest rights have been snatched away

71.05% of Uttarakhand's forest land is notified. Before 1980, the local people had their rights on this land. People used to conserve and exploit forest wealth. After the enactment of the Forest Conservation Act, permission has to be taken from the forest department to cut trees on one's land.

 

Law becomes a hindrance to development

After the formation of the state, infrastructure development plans started expanding in Uttarakhand, but the Forest Conservation Act also started becoming an obstacle. The dream of becoming an energy state was shattered due to environmental concerns. The Chardham road project also could not be completed due to environmental reasons. Uttarakhand remains the arena of conflict between the environment and developers. Environmental activists are advocating for a model in the fragile Himalayas that does not harm the environment. On the other hand, some developers want the forest conservation law to be softened to allow progress.

 

Also Read: Sanjay Nirupam: 'Expulsion action after resignation', Sanjay Nirupam's counterattack after being expelled from Congress

 

environmental issue missing

Forest and environment is a big issue in the state, but there is no discussion on this issue among the candidates contesting in the Lok Sabha elections, whereas aware people believe that for the future of the state, it is necessary to make a policy of balance between environment and development. is the greatest need.

 

Most forest land lost in mining

Under the Forest Conservation Act 1980, after the formation of Uttarakhand state, the maximum amount of 8,661 hectares of forest land was transferred for mining, while the second largest amount was 9,294 hectares of forest land transferred for roads. 165 hectares of forest land was transferred for drinking water, 70 for irrigation, 2,811 for transmission lines, 2,250 for hydropower projects, and 20,553 hectares of forest land was transferred for other works.

 

Forest law is anti-people

The Forest Act and Wildlife Act of 1980 talk about the protection of wild animals, but the rights of the local people were not considered. Forest law is anti-people. Atrocities have taken place throughout Uttarakhand. Whoever made this law had British thinking. This law took away the rights of the local people.

-Kishore Upadhyay, BJP MLA

 

The Forest department is with the development

The Forest department is with development. Everyone's cooperation is needed in matters of forest land transfer. In most cases, delay occurs due to departments sending half-baked proposals. From time to time, instructions are issued by the department as to how the proposals should be sent, so that they are not delayed.

 

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election: JDS once again dependent on family, dynastic politics becomes the biggest weakness of the party

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