Tribune News Service
Dehradun, June 17
Seeking green bonus to Uttarakhand in lieu of the state’s environment protection measures, environment and social activists in Uttarakhand today staged a fast at Gandhi Park in Dehradun on the occasion of the second anniversary of the natural disaster.
Environmentalists Suresh Bhai, Jagat Singh Junglee, Dr Arvind Darmoda and Dr Mohan Panwar today staged a fast at Gandhi Park, alleging that Uttarakhand, despite safeguarding the environment for the entire country, was suffering due to anti-environment acts of others.
Suresh Bhai advocated payment of green bonus to Uttarakhand as part of compensation for environment protection and said Uttarakhand had always been at the forefront of environment protection. He said movements such as Chipko and Raksha Sutra Andolan originated in the state, reflecting the commitment of the people of this region to conservation activities. “But it is strange that justice has not been done to the people of the state,” he said.
He said that even the one-time Green Bonus grant provided to Uttarakhand by the earlier UPA government has failed to be utilised for public benefit. “At least free LPG connections should have been provided to people in hilly villages through Green Bonus funds,” Suresh Bhai pointed out.
Jagat Singh Junglee, who participated in the fast, said it was a proven fact that Uttarakhand forests were providing eco-system services to the state to the tune of Rs 36,000 crore every year. “This needs to be understood by the Centre and hilly states such as Uttarakhand should be adequately compensated,” Jagat Singh Junglee asserted.
Junglee said while the world today was realising the importance of compensating states that were contributing to environment protection, he, way back in 1997, he took out a padyatra seeking royalty for Uttarakhand region for the sake of compensation for environment protection.
The day-long fast culminated in the evening.
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