The trek to the waterfalls is one of the most popular ones in the state
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Anand Van, an urban forest was recently inaugurated at Dehradun in Uttarakhand. It has been developed in the Jhajhra forest range by the forest department in order to reduce the severe levels of air pollution in the region.
It will provide detailed information regarding the fauna and flora of the state as it has been developed as an education centre as well. It is schedules to be opened to the public during Navratri this year.
Constructed with a budget of Rs 43 lakh over four years, it is hoped that the park will provide employment opportunities to local youth in the forest department.
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State officials say that Uttarakhand will have similar urban forests in Rishikesh and Haldwani very soon with plans of setting up nature parks in other places using funds from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
The urban forest and the grand announcements may seem a tad ironic considering what's coming up under the guide of the controversial Delhi-Dehradun Expressway. It will result in the cutting and destruction of over 2,500 tress in Uttarakhand, including a stunning British-era Sal forest. All so that the travel time between Delhi and Dehradun is cut to 2.5 hours!
The Sal forest has100 to 120 year old trees and environment experts have said that these would be nearly impossible to regrow and regenerate as they have “reached their climax”. In a report in TOI, a former scientist of the Forest Research Institue stated that “It is not recommended to fell trees that are part of climax species. Sal forests play a vital role in holding slippery hills of the Shivalik range and are a perfect habitat for wildlife species like leopards, tigers and elephants."
But is anyone listening?
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