Raising the demand to spend the amount to be given by the Central Government as green bonus in the next four years to Uttarakhand as royalty to the people living in mountainous regions of the State, noted environmentalist Jagat Singh Chaudhary ‘Junglee’ said Uttarakhand people have taken the responsibility to provide fresh oxygen and water to the country.
It is important for the country to take responsibility of Uttarakhand’s future generation.
Addressing the mediapersons at the Press Club on Monday, he said, “Nearly 20 years ago in the year 1997 we demanded royalty from the then Central Government for the betterment and benefit of the people living in the village areas of the State. In the same year when I along with 30 people marched on foot from Hariyali Devi to Rajghat in Delhi, people in Uttarakhand were buying gas cylinders for Rs 450 whereas citizens in Delhi were getting it for Rs 300. Even then we had demanded that the people of Uttarakhand should be provided subsidy. Most villagers cannot afford gas cylinders at such high rates. Ultimately, they have to rely on firewood to cook food. This will not only affect the biodiversity of our State but also of the world.”
When asked about the effect all weather road and other development works have on the biodiversity of the State he said, “Development is necessary, but the State Government needs to ensure development without harming the biodiversity and environment around. We have submitted a proposal to them that plantation of bamboos and ringal (hill bamboo) should be done on the roadsides after the work is done.
Bamboos and ringal both have good soil gripping capacity and are good for soil conservation.” When asked about the plantations that were done on the banks of Rispana during Harela festival he said, “The whole plan was a waste. There is proper mechanism for this. Plants alone cannot survive, there should have been bushes planted with the trees.”
He added, “If even half of amount given under green bonus is used for benefit of people living in mountainous regions we can effectively stop migration. Also, citizens should be given 50 per cent rebate on electricity bill. Villagers will start saving jungles on their own if they start getting royalty.”