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Deforestation

Can We Afford Development At The Cost Of Environment?

by Neeti Raina Decades ago women from the hills of Uttarakhand revolted against the felling of trees by embracing them and the world came to know the campaign as Chipko movement in India. These women did not hold fancy degrees nor did they have the support of big organizations. But these wise women were aware of the importance of trees, forest conservation, coexistence with nature and the far-reaching consequences of deforestation. They knew precisely how essential it is to protect the environment for the survival of mankind. The message of the non-violent Chipko movement was relevant then and even more so now. The option of development over the environment does not exist anymore. Now, it is a matter of striking a balance and preserving what we have. If indiscriminate development happens a...

The Many Facets of the Aarey Metro Debacle

– by Anuj Puri The verdant expanse of Aarey forests in suburban Mumbai turned into a battleground between environmentalists and authorities. Triggering this confrontation was the BMC-appointed Tree Authority’s clearance to cut almost 2,700 trees in the area to construct a car shed for the upcoming metro line. This controversy expectedly reignited the development vs. environment debate. In a space-starved and congested city like Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey are the few open green spaces left. Rich in biodiversity, home to several animals and birds and with lakhs of trees, the Aarey forests are the lungs of the city. Environmentalists fear that this mass felling of trees will disturb the whatever ecological balance Mumbai still retains and can exacerbate chronic proble...

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