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UP govt plans to kill 33,000 trees for Kanwar route project

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UP govt plans to kill 33,000 trees for Kanwar route project

The proposed Kanwar corridor is a two-lane road project that will run parallel to the Upper Ganga Canal. It will connect Muradnagar to Purkazi near the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand border...

UP govt plans to kill 33,000 trees for Kanwar route project

Green Update

TreeTake Network

The Uttar Pradesh government has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that over 33,000 fully grown trees will need to be felled for the ambitious 111 km Kanwar route project, which spans the districts of Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Muzaffarnagar. The NGT, chaired by Prakash Srivastava with members Arun Kumar Tyagi and expert A Senthil Vel, has sought additional details from the state government, with the next hearing scheduled for 8 July.

The proposed Kanwar corridor is a two-lane road project that will run parallel to the Upper Ganga Canal. It will connect Muradnagar to Purkazi near the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand border. Previously, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had granted permission for the cutting of 1.1 lakh trees and plants in these three districts. Taking suo motu cognisance of this order, the tribunal has requested a detailed breakdown of the trees to be cut from various departments, including the principal conservator of forests, the public works department, and the district magistrates of Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Muzaffarnagar. The state government furnished the requested details but was asked to provide a more comprehensive breakdown. The government has justified the need for the Kanwar route, highlighting its significance for approximately one crore devotees. These devotees travel to various cities and villages in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh after collecting water from the Ganga in Haridwar. “This route is categorised as 'very crowded' for both common people and devotees. A total of 54 villages across the three districts lie on this route, leading to significant traffic disruptions during the month of Shravan,” the government informed the tribunal. Despite the necessity outlined by the government, the green court has previously raised substantial issues regarding the compliance of environmental norms. To mitigate the environmental impact, the state government has identified 222 hectares for afforestation in Lalitpur district and deposited Rs 1.5 crore with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). The Kanwar route, proposed in 2018, serves as an alternative to the traditional road through western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand districts along the Upper Ganga Canal. In 2020, the state's expenditure and finance committee approved the project, which includes the construction of 10 major bridges, 27 minor bridges, and one railway overbridge. Notably, most of the bridges on the Ganga canal date back to around 1850. As the 8 July hearing approaches, the project’s impact on the environment remains a critical point of discussion, balancing the needs of development with ecological preservation.

Delhi will turn into a barren desert: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court recently observed that if the present generation continues to have an apathetic view on deforestation in Delhi, the city may turn into a barren desert [Neeraj Sharma v Union of India]. Justice Tushar Rao Gedela also noted that the temperature in Delhi had recently touched 52.3 degrees Celsius. “Judicial notice is taken of the fact that as recent as 30.05.2024, the official temperature recorded in Delhi was 52.3 degrees Celsius. It is not far to see the day when this City may be only a barren desert, in case the present generation continues an apathetic view on deforestation. Having said that, the aforesaid directions to be complied with in strict timelines,” the Court said. The Court observed while dealing with a bunch of petitions concerning the protection and management of forests in Delhi. In April 2024, the High Court while hearing the same batch of matters had appointed former judge Justice Najmi Waziri as the head of an internal departmental committee tasked with the protection of forests in the national capital. On May 31, the High Court was informed that the infrastructure, secretarial support staff, and transportation were yet to be provided for Justice Waziri to discharge his responsibilities. The Court ordered the government to ensure that all requirements of the chairperson and the committee be met by July 29 when the Court will consider the case next. The Court also renamed the committee as Special Empowered Committee.

UP Forest Corporation auctions 400 green trees in Lucknow on June 5

Amid concern and outrage among environmentalists and citizens, 400 green trees were auctioned ironically on the World Environment Day (June 5) paving the way for them to eventually be felled as they were supposedly obstructing the path of ‘development’. The trees were between five and 80 years old, an official said. The activists argue that the loss of these trees will worsen the already severe heat stress in the affected areas. The UP Forest Corporation published an advertisement on May 28, stating its intent to auction 308 trees obstructing the construction work of building and sheds at Ashok Leyland, formerly the Scooters India Limited complex, located in the Sarojini Nagar industrial area, as received by the Lucknow sales division of the forest corporation. Another 92 green trees obstructing construction work on the premises of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) regional workshop at Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow was also to be auctioned. The auction for both the areas was done at 11 am on June 5 on Kursi Road, Lucknow. Buyers can purchase these standing trees by attending the auction. Davinder Singh, divisional sales manager, UP Forest Corporation, said: “We have sought a no objection certificate from the UP forest department last month.” When asked why these green trees can’t be relocated instead of felling them, Singh said this option was explored but it did not work out.

Vegan Muslim PETA India supporters celebrate Eid by treating goats to a fruit feast

 A new video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India showed several of its vegan Muslim supporters celebrating Eid by having goats for dawat – not as the main course but as the guests of honour. They prepared a beautiful spread of fresh fruits and vegetables for the rescued animals while sharing the message that Islam, like all religions, teaches compassion and mercy and urging others to sacrifice cruel habits – not animals – by going vegan. “Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, ‘Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself.’ This is true. Eating vegan protects us against heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. And by leaving meat and dairy off our plates, we can reduce our carbon footprint from food as individuals by a whopping 73%,” explained PETA India Senior Advocacy Officer Farhat Ul Ain in the video. “Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also said, ‘There is a reward (ajr) for helping any living creature.’ For me, the reward is feeling good! I feel good when I see animals feeling happy and safe.” Farhat was joined by PETA India Youth Outreach Coordinator Nazifa Anwar, co-founder of Bhopal-based animal welfare non-profit Animals With Humanity Ayaan Ali Siddiqui, and vegan activist, wildlife rescuer, and member of Andhra Pradesh Animal Welfare Board Mohammad Idris Khan. Vegetarian and vegan Muslims – and many others – celebrate Eid ul-Adha by distributing vegan food or helping those in need in ways that do not involve animals, over concerns about animal welfare, human health, and the environment. That’s because, in defiance of animal transport laws, many animals slated for sacrifice and other methods of slaughter are crammed into severely crowded trucks, which routinely causes suffocation and broken bones. During sacrifice and when they are killed in slaughterhouses, animals’ throats are typically cut open in full view of other terrified animals. The consumption of meat and other animal-derived foods also hurts human health and has been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. A United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of the climate catastrophe. Siddiqui noted, “I’ve sacrificed all harmful practices in my life. This isn’t a huge sacrifice – I just stopped eating meat, which is the best thing I could do for my body, the animals, and the planet. When you cook biryani, kheer, and kebabs for Eid, they can easily be made vegan. Let’s understand the rights of animals and show kindness to all creations of Allah.”



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