Does development come at the cost of the environment? The age-old debate has spared in Uttarakhand's capital with the proposed expansion of Dehradun's Jollygrant Airport.
Protests erupted outside the Dehradun Airport to demonstrate against the proposed felling of more than 10,000 trees.
According to reports, up to 10,000 trees could be chopped down for the expansion of Uttarakhand's main airport in Dehradun. The move to cut the trees in the Thano range of the Dehradun forest division could affect wildlife in the elephant corridors nearby, forest department sources said.
The Uttarakhand government has sought the National Wildlife Board's approval to transfer 243 acres of forest land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for expanding the Jolly Grant Airport.
The area in question also lies within a 10 km radius of the Rajaji National Park Eco-Sensitive Zone.
"Thano is a part of Rajaji National Park and the government has proposed to chop 10,000 trees for the expansion of an airport. Already, so much forest has been chopped off for construction and if you see the all weather road project, the mountains are being cut, the trees are being chopped," said Dr. Aanchal Sharma, a resident of Dehradun.
She added, "the government should use some alternative areas for the expansion of the airport instead of destroying this mini ecology i.e Thano forest."