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Citizens kick off campaign demanding ban on cutting down trees for next 10 yrs in Punjab

The movement is spearheaded by Naroa Punjab Manch and Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Kapil Arora. Green activists and citizens have begun writing to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in this regard.

A group of concerned citizens and organisations from across Punjab have joined hands and launched a public movement called ‘Rukh Maroo, Manukh Maroo’ (If trees die, humans will too), demanding a complete ban on axing of trees for the next 10 years in Punjab.

The movement is spearheaded by Naroa Punjab Manch and Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Kapil Arora. Green activists and citizens have begun writing to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in this regard.

Ludhiana resident Jaskirat Singh, a member of the Naroa Punjab Manch, said, “We have requested citizens and NGOs across Punjab to write emails to the CM to put a complete ban on axing of fully-grown trees for at least the next ten years. The tree cover of Punjab is among the lowest in the country at 3.5 per cent, which is even lesser than Rajasthan, which is at 5 per cent. Ideally, it should be at least 30 per cent. People have realised during the pandemic how precious oxygen is and in the last few years, lots of fully grown trees have been axed in Punjab either in the name of development or to sell timber. Therefore this drive has been launched. There is an internationally accepted legal principle of inter-generational equity. Not leaving the natural environment in good condition for our future generations is a serious crime under that. We therefore are requesting the government for a complete ban on axing trees any further so that the green cover gets time to heal itself.”

Kapil Arora, a member of the Council of Engineers, as well as the manch, said, “We are trying to save trees in both forest and non-forest areas of Punjab in whatever way we can. We recently approached the National Green Tribunal (NHT) in a number of cases. We hope that the government of Punjab will also support this cause.”

Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, convenor, Naroa Punjab Manch, said that many doctors, lawyers, engineers, businessmen among others are supporting this movement and many celebrities have also expressed support. All are echoing the sentiment that this message must be taken to every village of Punjab so that this becomes an effective public movement to safeguard the environment. He further said that they are also trying to rope in prominent environment personalities of Punjab like Bibi Inderjit Kaur of Pingalwara Amritsar, Baba Balbeer Singh Seechewal and Baba Sewa Singh Khadoor Sahib so that this can become a bigger mass movement and appealed to every Punjabi to write an email demanding a 10-year ban on axing of trees to the Punjab CM at [email protected]

The campaign is resonating very strongly with citizens and environmentalists alike and from Ludhiana, many citizens such as Harpreet Soin of Ludhiana Cares Ladies Society, Jaswant Singh Zafar from Buddha Darya Task Force, Ranjodh Singh from Ramgarhia Educational Council, Amrita Mangat, Amandeep Singh Bains of RBS Roots etc have expressed solidarity and have already sent emails to the chief minister.

 

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