Dehra Dun : Concerned Doonites, who have over the years seen the city degrade from its lush environs to a concrete jungle, will be meeting at the tea gardens on Feb 28, in a desperate bid to prevent them from being taken over for the construction of a smart city, that the chief minister and his motley crowd of planners and supporters have proposed.
In fact from day one when the plan to divert the tea gardens for the smart city was proposed, the project was opposed tooth and nail by the concerned citizens of the capital city of Uttarakhand that is still in its nascent state. Unfortunately so much has been happening in the city, rather the state, which is against the interest of the common man, that nothing seems to now surprise the people.
And so the decision of the state government and the bureaucracy to convert the tea garden into a smart city, rather than improve the existing infrastructure in the existing city, did not surprise the people, but it did antagonize them to the extent that many of them said enough was enough and something needed to be done to make the planners realize that the aam aadmi will not take everything and anything lying down.
Though the move against the tea garden being converted into a smart city has been spearheaded by the Aam Aadmi Party leader Anup Nautiyal who has mobilized the tea garden workers who are also opposed to the concept and have already started a movement against the state government’s decision by resorting to a chipko andolan , but the concerned citizens have joined them in saving the tea garden and the large number of trees thereon.
The main concern of the citizens is that the tea gardens are the lungs of the city, which is already choked with vehicles and where the quality of air is about the worst in the country, perhaps only after Delhi. Saving the tea gardens will not only save the city’s precious but dwindling green belt but also help the residents breathe some clean air.
On the said day, when the residents meet at the tea gardens, they will also tie red ribbons to the trees and the tea bushes to show their love and take a vow to protect them from the nefarious designs of the state government and the babudom. Members of the NGO, MAD (Making a difference by being the difference) will also enact a small skit on the occasion.
Incidentally, the NGO has been playing a key role in keeping the city clean and the members are seen on Sundays and holidays cleaning the litter and garbage from various parts of the city. They also paint some of the filthy walls, after cleaning them so that the people realize the value of keeping the city clean.
It may be mentioned here that the workers of the tea garden had enacted the Chipko movement of the seventies, in the tea gardens , when they got together and hugged the trees and took a vow that they would protect them at all costs. Now with the concerned citizens of the town joining them, their movement will get strength.