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Plants are not always friends!!!

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Plants, an amazing creation of Almighty, provide oxygen to supports the animal kingdom on earth. However, there are many venomous or poisonous plants do exist in nature, which we are not aware of.  It is also believed by some people that there are some man eating tree do exist somewhere in the Middle East. Although there is no strong evidence reported regarding the existence of such trees, current world, however, deadly poisonous plants do exist.

Below is a brief compilation of some of the most dangerous plants that are still found in nature.

Nerium Oleander

Nerium Oleander is believed to be the most poisonous plant on Earth. The plant is filled with poisonous chemicals including two most powerful toxins namely oleandrin and nerine. The poison of oleander so powerful, that it can poison the human body even on ingestion of the honey made by the bees that consumed oleander nectar. Even though it is noxious in nature, Oleander plants are used for decorative purposes because of it a lovely fragrance.

Cicuta or Water Hemlock

Primarily found in the marshy areas of America, Cicuta, commonly known as Water Hemlock, contains a poisonous toxin, cicutoxin, in its roots. Unfortunately, the white roots of Cicuta are often mistaken for the parsnip. The chemical cicutoxin causes nausea, cramps, vomiting and muscle tremors. People survive the cicutoxin suffer from long-term health conditions, such as amnesia. Ingestion of this plant material can cause death in the animal within 15 minutes of consumption.

Abrus Precatorius or Rosary Pea

The beautiful red and black colored seeds, of rosary pea plant popularly known as rosary prayer beads, are widely known for making imported jewelry.  These beautiful seeds contain the poison abrin, however, the seeds are absolutely safe until they are broken or the outer coating is damaged. Each pea of the pod contains approximately 2.5 milligrams of abrin, which is sufficient to kill a human. Abrin inhibits protein synthesis by bonding with the plasma membranes. Symptoms of abrin poisoning include tough breathing, nausea, vomiting, fever, and fluid in the lungs. It also leads to dehydration and ends with the kidneys, liver, and spleen shutting down causing death within four days.

Atropa Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade

Atropa Belladonna, commonly known as ‘Deadly Nightshade’ grows to a height of 1.5 meters and can be recognized by its bell-shaped purple flowers and the dull, dark green leaves. The plant is completely safe for animals and birds, however deadly for human beings. Symptoms of Belladonna poisoning include dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, headaches, confusion, and convulsions. The deadly poison doses disturb the nervous system, rendering the nerve endings in involuntary muscle paralysis.

Castor Oil Plant

Castor plant contains the deadly toxin, ricin, found in high concentrations in the seed coating. Symptoms of castor poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, internal bleeding, and kidney and circulation failure. Exposure to the dust is most common in areas where the beans are processed for commercial use.

Taxus Baccata or the English Yew

These plants are believed to be a symbol of the immortality of the soul and seen in plenty at church graveyards across Great Britain. The 22 meters giant trees contain poison in all of its parts except the bark. Consumption of the leaves and seeds can lead to dizziness, dry mouth, dilation of the pupils, weakness, irregular heart rhythm, and possibly death. It also possesses medicinal values, such as a cure for water elf disease and potential as an anti-tumor. Yew extract is used for Taxol, which inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Ageratina Altissima or White Snakeroot

The white snakeroot is a shadow loving weed mostly found in the eastern and southern United State. The plant contains high levels dangerous toxic substance called trementol, which acts as a powerful poison for horses, goats, and sheep and symptoms poisoning include depression and lethargy, placement of hind feet close together or far apart, nasal discharge, excessive salivation, arched body posture, and rapid or difficulty breathing. In humans, the poisoning symptoms include bad breath, loss of appetite, listlessness, weakness, vague pains, muscle stiffness, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, severe constipation, coma, and possibly death.

Aconitum or Aconite

Aconite is a beautiful but poisonous plant that contains toxins in every part of it and is known to poison people who mistake its white carrot-like root for horseradish or some other herb. Its poisoning symptoms cause numbness, tingling, and cardiac problems as well. When ingested, the poison leads to a burning sensation in the mouth followed by increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, a tingling sensation in the skin, changes in blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, coma, and sometimes even death.

Datura Stramonium or Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed or Datura with its pointed leaves and fruits looks scary itself. The parts of the plant contain toxic alkaloids with hallucinogenic properties that can cause hospitalization and death when consumed in high dosage. Even beautiful white or lavender trumpet-shaped flower of Datura also contains the poisonous toxins atropine and scopolamine. It is also widely known for its medicinal values such as relieving asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bone-setting.

Hippomane Mancinella or Machineel

Manchineel or the ‘little apple of death’ found in plenty Found across the Florida Everglades, Central America, and the Caribbean. Its white sap can cause damage, including rashes, skin irritation, coughing, loss of voice, etc. These tiny apple-like fruits, if ingested, can cause blisters in the mouth, swell the throat to shut it off, and even cause gastrointestinal problems.

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Sonali Patnaik is majorly into secondary research and report writing. She is an avid reader and reads a variety of novels, a music lover and a movie buff. She also loves to travel and fond of cooking experiments. She expresses her views on various topics and does so through her well-researched articles.



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Fauna

Organisms illuminate with Bioluminescence phenomena!

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Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon of producing light by living organisms. This light is majorly produced by the oxidization of the molecule luciferin, a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme luciferase. Some organisms generate their own glow while others act as a vector for some bacteria that emit light for them. The organisms emit light to serve several purposes, which include repelling predators, attracting preys or potential mates.

Here are some examples of bioluminescent organisms.

Jelly Fish

Over half of jellyfish species produce some type of bioluminescence, majorly as a restraint to the predators.

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For example, a jellyfish called Aequorea victoria produces a green glow around the perimeter of its bell by emitting its preliminary blue light through a chemical compound called green fluorescent protein (GFP).

Squid

Most of the species of squid produce bioluminescence for various purposes.

Image result for squid with bioluminescence

Some of the deep-sea squid spurt glowing mucus to confuse their predators, while others, such as the tiny bobtail squid, use its small cavities underneath of its body, which serves as a shelter to bioluminescent bacteria.

Anglerfish

Deep-sea anglerfishes attract their prey with glowing baubles hanging from rods in front of their mouths.

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Its preys get attracted to the fleshy lanterns and are inhaled by the monstrous fish when they approach towards it.

Lanternfish

Lanternfishes are tiny mesopelagic fishes of the family Myctophidae. One of the two families in the order Myctophiformes, the Myctophidae are represented by 246 species in 33 genera and are found in oceans worldwide.

Image result for Lantern Fish of Myctophidae that emits light in ocean

The species is appropriately named after their evident use of bioluminescence. The species has a unique pattern of light-producing photophores, used for signaling and mating. The photophores comprised of lens-shaped, transparent scales covering the tissue that emits light; these lenses help in focussing and amplifying the light.

Firefly

The firefly, which belongs to the Lampyridae family are insects in the beetle order Coleoptera with over 2,000 species.

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These are soft-bodied beetles that are also called as lightning bugs for their conspicuous usage of bioluminescence during twilight to attract their mates or prey.

Fungi

More than 70 species of fungus are known to bioluminescence. These fungi continuously emit greenish light at a wavelength of 520–530 nm, which occurs only in living cells.

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There is no correlation between the fungal bioluminescence and their cell structure has not been found yet.

Surprising Fauna Facts!!!

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Approach to Save Earth from Deforestation

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Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Trees are being sacrificed for making a profit, as the industrialists are pushing through forests in order to gain land for commercial purposes.

As per the surveys conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 33 million acres of forestland are lost annually around the globe. The major factors responsible for deforestation include wood and paper products, mining and oil exploitation, urbanization, acid rain, and wildfires. Besides these, supplying wood timber for wood and paper products and clearing land for crops, cattle and housing purposes are some of the other reasons for deforestation.

Deforestation causes serious impact on air and water pollution, soil erosion, climate change, loss of biodiversity. In this scenario, as an individual and being a part of the global community, one can at least plant a tree to combat deforestation. Apart from this, we can also take another step forward to alter our shopping, eating, or even driving habits. This small step can lead to giant leaps towards a global battle against deforestation.

Here are some exceptional ways that you can help in stopping or preventing deforestation.
  1. Start planting trees around you and promote tree plantation in your neighborhood.
  2. Go paperless and avoid printing. Whether at work or at home, most people still have the habit of using paper or hardcopy files. Cultivate a habit of using electronic files and folders properly.
  3. While shopping, shift your preference towards buying recycled products. At home, try to recycle or repurpose waste things as much as possible. By doing this, you will help in knocking down the demand for clearing land.
  4. Cut down your meat intake and try to eat vegetarian meals instead. This is healthy as well as a best practice as it remains problematic and time-taking to source meat products that are completely devoid of being harvested on land that once was covered with trees. Avoid buying meat products sourced from land where forests have been cleared.
  5. Stop using firewood to heat up fireplaces. It takes merely a few hours to burn the firewood but it takes several years to grow a tree. Try to change your approach to living your life in such a way that your daily activities cause the least impact on the environment.
  6. Bring awareness among people to live in a way that doesn’t impact the environment. Try to form a community and let other people know about the alarming rate of deforestation and the control measures to minimize our carbon footprint on the environment.
  7. Support and encourage companies that manufacture products by causing minimal or no damage to the environment.

 

Know amazing facts about the world’s second-largest rainforest.

Amazing Congo Rainforest

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Organic farming: The future of Indian Agriculture

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India is an agrarian economy. Around 60 percent of people are heavily dependent upon agriculture but it contributes averagely around 15 percentage towards the Indian GDP. At the same time, the average decadal growth lies at a meager 4 percentage. It definitely raises eyebrows for many of us. So it is the need of the hour to unearth and reveal the truth for the lackadaisical growth of Indian agriculture. In this context, state initiative to promote organic farming which augurs well both for the growth and as well as for the chemical-free cultivation. Let’s have a scientific perspective which needs to be a pervasive approach in recent times and future ahead.

Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It emphasizes the use of management practices in preference to the use of on-farm inputs, taking into account regional conditions require locally adapted systems. This is accomplished by using agronomic, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using synthetic materials. The area under organic cultivation in India is about 5.71 million hectares (2015-16) including the cultivable area of 1.49 million hectares (26%) and rest 4.22 million hectares (74%) under forest and wild area harvest. Sikkim has been recently declared as the first organic state in India.

Ecological and Economical benefits

Organically grown vegetables

Since organic farming address soil health, human health and environmental health and is eco-friendly, it is one of the best options for sustainable crop production and crop yields. Adoption of organic agriculture in India can bring greater economic benefits to farmers and environmental growth for the nation that emphasizes on more sustainable production system crucial for achieving food security apart from maintaining natural resources.

Application of scientific approaches to organic farming practices maintain and in some cases, increase the yield in the long run. It sustains biodiversity, soil fertility, and natural ecosystem processes and other services that underpin agriculture. It allows the farmers to overcome the risk of crop failures and increased cost of production, encourages the production of healthy food and fiber of high quality. It also enhances the quality of agro-ecosystem and soil, the health of crops, animals, and people maintained through biological processes. Local resources are used in a way that minimizes losses of nutrients, biomass, and energy resources.

Organic farming in progress

Organic farming fraught with hurdles

According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, productivity on an average dips by 6.7 percent in the first year, and the government needs to have a plan in place to support farmers during the transition. The report on Doubling of Farmers’ Income by Ashok Dalwai committee, too, echoes the concern of the farmers who claim up to 30 percent drop in yields when embracing organic. It takes about a decade to attain pre-conversion yield levels, according to the committee report.

To ensure the marketing of organic produce, connecting farmers with the domestic and global supply chain is extremely important. But a new ICRIER study found the supply chain to be underdeveloped. As a result, the small and mid-sized farmers located in hilly regions and tribal belts find it extremely difficult to access the market.

Despite all these issues and shortcomings, organic agriculture is making inroads into the hinterlands of rural India as well as the urban individuals. They are adopting organic farming practices and reaping more benefits; the more organic and natural the product, the safer and healthier it is for us and for the environment.

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Bring Home the Green Air Purifiers

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With many of the cities facing alarming air pollution, it’s quite obvious for people to pursue different natural ways to fight hazardous air quality. Many of us spend on buying air purifying masks that keep you away from the toxins and dust particles present in the air. However, there is another eco-friendly option is to bring home some house plants that act as natural green purifiers.

Here are a few indoor plant options for you.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, a succulent plant widely serves medicinal purposes. It primarily absorbs carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde from the air in your home.

It is considered that an Aloe plant can replace nine air purifiers. Apart from this, the gel of the fleshy plant leaves is a great ingredient for smooth and clear skin.

Ficus Elastica

Ficus elastica, commonly known as rubber fig or rubber bush or rubber plant is a fig genus plant. The rubber plant neither needs much sunlight nor requires high maintenance.

It effectively purifies the air by removing formaldehyde present in the atmosphere. However, it needs to be kept away from pets and kids as its leaves contain a toxic substance.

Ivy

Hedera commonly known as ivy belongs to the family Araliaceae. This evergreen climber or ground creeper woody plant is a native to central, western and southern Europe, northwestern Africa and Macaronesia.

It is also found across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan. It is considered as one of the best indoor plants that remove 58% of the feces particles and 60% of the toxins present in the air inside the house.

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum, commonly known as spider plant or airplane plant is a perennial flowering houseplant.  These plants are tolerant of adverse conditions, adaptable to climate change and durable as well.

Spider plants are capable of carrying out photosynthesis under minimum sun light. It also absorbs most of the toxins such as carbon monoxide, gasoline, formaldehyde, and styrene from the air. Apparently, one spider plant is sufficient to purify the air in a 200 sq. m space.

Snake Plant

Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly known as snake plant or Saint George’s sword or mother-in-law’s tongue or viper’s bowstring hemp belongs to the family Asparagaceae and native to tropical West Africa.

Just like a spider plant, the snake plant is durable and capable of performing photosynthesis under low light. Since it produces oxygen during the night, it is suggested to keep the plant in the bedroom area.

Peace Lilies

Spathiphyllum, commonly known as Spath or peace lilies, is a monocotyledonous flowering plant that belongs to the family Araceae.

The plant is known for removing toxins like formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. As per to NASA, 15-18 of these plants per 500 sq. m area is enough to purify the toxic air.

These plants are really effective in removing toxins from the air and increasing oxygen levels in your house.

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Let’s Talk Green: Types of Deficiencies in Plants

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Plants can’t say through words about how they feel? Or what they need? However, these green living beings can express through their appearance about their needs. The abnormal yellowish color of leaves of plants often tries to tell us about their basic requirements for a healthy life. Let us take a look at the below symptoms or signs of deficiency to know what exactly the plant is craving.

Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen is a vital nutrient for the creation of chlorophyll, which is the key ingredient of photosynthesis. Additionally, nitrogen is the main constituent of amino acids that forms proteins. Protein stimulates growth in plants and promotes fruit development.

Signs: Yellowish or pale green leaves and inhibited growth

Solution: Adding coffee grounds directly to the soil or plant makes the rich in nitro nutrients. Another method is to plant a nitrogen-rich plant such as beans and peas near nitrogen-deficient plants.

Phosphorous Deficiency

Phosphorus (P) is a vital macronutrient for plant productivity. According to research results, Phosphorus deficiency limits the photosynthetic machinery and the electron transport chain. It reduces the orthophosphate concentration in the chloroplast stroma to levels that inhibit ATP synthase activity.

Signs: Darkening around edges of leaves, stunted growth and small or no flowers.

Solutions: Adding aquarium or fish tank water to soil however ensure the water doesn’t contain salt components. The fish water is also a great source of nitrogen.

Potassium Deficiency

Potash deficiency is common in sandy soils because potassium ions (K+) are extremely soluble and easily leach from soils without colloids. Potassium deficiency impacts protein synthesis in plants and maintains turgidity and flaccidity of guard cells that helps in opening and closing of stomata.

Signs: Leaves with brown spots and yellow or brown veins or yellow edges. This deficiency leads to disease and drought.

Solution: Bury peels of Banana an inch below the topsoil. Peels take some time to rot and will slowly help plants. Banana peels also deter aphids.

Magnesium Deficiency

Insufficient magnesium in plants degrades the chlorophyll in the old leaves, which causes interveinal chlorosis, which limits the photosynthesis process in plants and subsequently the plant growth is compromised.

Signs:

Yellowing of veins and edges of leaves.  Sometimes it leads a marbled appearance.

Solution:

Epsom salt works tremendously when directly added to the topsoil of the plant before watering it. It is significantly beneficial for peppers, tomatoes, and roses.

Calcium Deficiency

Inadequate Calcium in plant cells leads to tissue necrosis leading to stunted growth of plants. Lack of calcium also increases the plant’s vulnerability to root diseases such as Pythium.

Signs:

Yellow spots between the leaf veins, blossom end rots, stunted growth, weak or dying stems.

Solutions:

Crushed eggs shells are a great source of calcium when added to the soil. This method will slowly help your plants, so make sure you till the eggshells well into the soil to help the process along.

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180 countries to watch PM Narendra Modi in Discovery channel’s globally popular show Man Vs Wild on 12th August

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PM Modi being handed over the hand made weapon for safety by Bear Grylls in the jungles of Jim Corbett Wild life sanctuary in Uttarakhand on the day of shooting of the episode for Discovery Channel Man Vs Wild
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The prime minister Narendra Modi has been featured in an interesting globally famous programme of Discovery channel Man Vs Wild with its adventurous presenter Bear Grylls to be telecast on Discovery on 12th August.

This unique programme would be telecast on the television channels of 180 countries of the world to be viewed by billions of viewers.

Prime minister Narendra Modi would be the first prime minister of independent India to be featured in this unique TV show of discovery channel. However, United State president Barak Obama and few other international dignitaries had featured in this programme of discovery channel in the past.

The globally popular presenter also known for taking high risks in various adventures of his episodes of Man Vs Wild programme has tweeted: People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of the PM @narendramodi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation & environmental change.

Catch Man Vs Wild with PM Modi@ DiscoveryIN on August 12 @9 pm. # PMModiDiscovery. On World Tigers Day today, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that there are 2967 tigers in India, about 741 more than the previous census.

It’s indeed a healthy sign towards the conservation and promotion of the endangered species in India.

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s special interest and dedication in the conservation of animals especially tigers is being lauded by the animal lovers of the country and the globe.

The Man Vs Wild episode with Bear Grylls was shot for the whole day at Jim Corbet Park on the ill-fated day of ghastly Pulwama tragedy and from where he was in regular touch with the tragic developments.

The entire shooting was materialised in the dense jungles and river of Jim Corbet Wildlife Park with prime minister Narendra Modi wearing a cap and military jacket. He is seen walking in dense jungles with Grylls interacting on wildlife etc.

Titled as “Epic adventure of a lifetime” this special episode of Discovery’s Man Vs Wild encompasses prime minister Narendra Modi’s fearlessness and his habit to confront adventurous situations with ease, especially when he travels over the river tides on a temporary hand made canopy boat with Bear Grylls.

While making him sit on the temporary boat and offering jacket Bear Grylls says to Modi not to worry as you are a very important person for your nation and it’s my full responsibility to ensure your safety.

According to the news reports the world would see prime minister Narendra Modi doing brave acts inside the dense jungles of Uttarakhand’s Jim Corbet Park.

In the entire episode, the PM is walking freely with ease along with the show presenter Bear Grylls.

This programme has been specially designed to promote prime minister Narendra Modi’s special interest and commitment to save and conserve tigers.

However, the Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, as usual,  has criticized prime minister for being busy in shooting on the day when tragic Pulwama massacre was happening in Kashmir.

As expected of him, he asked: Is prime minister Narendra Modi Shahrukh Khan or Salman Khan that he was busy in shooting as a Bollywood actor in the day of Pulwama tragedy, the accusations strongly opposed by the BJP leadership.

180 countries to watch PM Narendra Modi in Discovery channel’s globally popular show Man Vs Wild on 12th August.

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CHIPKO REPEATED, WOMEN, YOUTH HUGGED TREE TRUNKS, SAY AXE THEM FIRST, THEN THE TREES

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Taking the cue and inspiration from the internationally famed CHIPKO MOVEMENT of 1974 that started against the arbitrary mass felling of trees by veteran illeterate environmentalist GAURA DEVI and her several volunteers, all women, hailing from a distant RAINY village in Chamoli Garhwal in Uttarakhand Himalaya’s, hundreds of environmentally friendly volunteers in South Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Netaji Nagar have gathered together to hug the trees likely to be felled by the authorities concerned in order to put an end to the arbitary felling of about 16500 trees on acount of the redevelopment of the aforesaid government colonies where multi storeyed flats are coming up but at the expense of these vast number of green trees existing in these vicinities for the last several decades, some even since the British era.

There were government colonies in all these four areas viz. Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Nauroji Nagar having double stories with one, two, three and four type accomodations.

In view of the shortage of accomodation for the government servants having a long que for allotments, the previous UPA government under the then union Urban Development minister Jaipal Reddy and state minister Ajay Maken had mooted a plan to redevelop and modernised these old government colonies through the PPP model and construct multi storey buildings, hi tech bazaars, market complex, swimming pools and other kinds of recreational facilities including marriage halls and health centres etc.

The basic object of this infrastructural redevelopment was to accomodate more and more people of all grades in a limited area which can’t be extended any further in view of space contraints.

The colonies of Nauroji Nagar and Kidwai Nagar have already been demolished about three years ago and the multistory structures had already come up in these vicinities. However, the work of redevelopment is on full swing in Nauroji Nagar to be followed in Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Kasturba Nagar.

All these colonies fall in the NDMC area under the jurisdiction of the union government and the project is being handled by the NATIONAL BUILDING CONTRUCTION COMPANY ( NBCC) the autonomous government body.

About 16500 trees are to be cut/ felled during these contruction activities. However, lakhs of trees had already been allegedly felled with the due permission of the environment ministry during the construction of the various metro rail projects.

After news of the tree felling reached the ear and eye of the Delhi government led by AAP there had been objections against these arbitrary tree fellings and number of environmental friendly organisations thereafter came into the picture. The message spread like a wild fire.

One Mr Khanna an advocate had urgently filed a writ petition in the court of law to turn down the decision. On 24th and 25th June about fifteen hundred enlightened residents of the nearby areas collected at Sarojini Nagar and furiously objected to the illegal felling of these trees threatening the authorities to first axe them, then the trees.

It’s a repetition of late Gaura Devi’s Chipko movement of the seventies when several women volunteers of RAINY GAON in CHAMOLI GARHWAL clung to the heavy trunks of the trees likely to be cut by the then timber mafia finally compelling the then government of UTTAR PRADESH and the centre to acede to their request and officialy ban cutting of trees in UTTARAKHAND HIMALAYAS.

The protesting volunteers holding Play Cards displaying ,”trees are our lungs, don’t axe them,” and shouting slogans most annoyingly, these furious women volunteers have challenged the authorities to come forward and axe them first before citting these old green trees.

Today, about two dozen volunteers, majority of them being women are stationed in Sarojini Nagar to ensure that not a single tree is cut by the authorities concerned.

They are ready to go behind bars and sacrifice themselves but woud not allow the killings of the trees, our lungs for survival say these activists.

It may be recalled that Delhi and the NCR have become the concretes of cemented infrastructural development where trees have been cut on rampant scale.

The suspended particulate matter level has also enhanced to over 500 percent resulting in excessive pollution and green house gases emissions resulting in the badly deteriotating health condition of the DELHITES.

The power demand in the capital has increased manifold and the consumption pattern has increased to more than two hundred percent with the Delhi power demand reaching at 7000 megawats which was merely 2800 megawats in 2005.

It may be recalled that ecological imbalance and increasing pollution is no more confined to and city, town or metropolises but the rural areas and forest dominated states too are now inflicted with this menace. The problem has now assumed global significance with all the countries of the world deliberating on reducing green house emissions and making the world free of ecological catastrophes in the offing due to the increasing global warming.

The capital of India, Delhi and its surroundings are rapidly converting themselves into cities of concrete with lessening trees and increasing number of skyscrapers. Except the Delhi’s Lutyen Zone and the forests of the Aravalies’ there had been incessant felling of trees under guise of infrastructural development thus resulting in excessive pollution of dust, emission of CO2 and other form of poisionous gases emnating from millions of Air conditioners and vehicles which are around 80 lakhs in numbers.

If you happen to go in the NCR in Gurgaon or Noida or Ghaziabad extentions, you’ll find lakhs of upcoming builder flats with literally no green trees but hundred of thousands of airconditioners spreading CO2 in the atmosphere including hot emissions vitiating the entire environment.

Had there been a special impetus by the environment ministries of the centre and state to plant more and more trees and to maintain them respectively, the environment of Delhi would have been full of fresh oxygen and fresh air.

But today what we experience is 40 to 47 degree celcius temperatures and dearth of drinking water compelling Delhites to lead a hell of the life in the capital. Even the Ganga and Yamuna are badly polluted giving toxic water posing a grave challenge to peoples’ lives.

The Himalayan glaciers are expeditiously melting and the hisorical river like Ganga, Yamuna and its tributaries turning into huge drains of heavily polluted contents of factories, tanneries, plastics, rubbish and toxic chemical wastes.

In such a critical situation planting excessive trees and safeguarding the present trees including conserving rain water on massive scale is the only solution to this impending menace. What’s your take friends? Meanwhile, there is a good news that the Delhi high court has issued directives to the union government to stop the arbitrary felling of about 16500 trees in South Delhi.

In a press release issue by the Delhi Citizen lnitiative to SaveTrees the organisation welcomed the decision of Hon’ble HC to stay any further felling of trees in Central Govt’s VIP housing project at Delhi. It was a day light mass murder to fell 16500 trees.

The media cordinator Chavi Mehta thanked the citizens of Delhi for standing up along with them and turning out in large numbers to save the trees.

While welcoming the decision the organisation appealed to the government to roll back this decision to cut 16500 trees.

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Permission to cut 283 fully grown up green trees in lansdowne, quashed

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In several parts of Uttarakhand , eighty percent of which is covered by green forests illegal, arbitrary and clandestine activities of felling of fully grown up trees in collusion with the forest officials, the influential wood contractors and politicians is on the rise posing grave threat to the ecology and environment of the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand.

Geografically being a tremendously wide area having huge jungles majority of the illegal fully grown green tree cutting activities go unnoticed butthanks to some responsible roaming journalists like Ashutosh Negi who while risking their own lives expose such unholy nexus of the forest officials and wooden mafias and help in applying checks and regulation on these illegal actions. What makes things worrisome and deplorable is the fact that the environmentalists, ecologists and social activists, particularly those active in Uttarakhand and seeking self publicity in the name of environment conservation hardly take notice of such news and act accordingly.

The recent shocking revelation about the large scale permission for arbitrary cutting good number of about 283 trees with 49 fully grown up green trees already dismantled and taken out of the vicinity by timber businessmen to seek ample profits at the cost of the UK hills’ environment and ecology in the Lansedown fotest division has created furore in Uttarakhand inviting the attention of opposition political parties and the electronics and the print media as well.

The party involved in this illegal exercise in order to discourage the whistle blower has managed to manipulate the local police and succeeded in registering an FIR against the journalist on fake and fabricated grounds complaining of extortion but on the contrary the courageous investigative journalist of JAGO UTTARAKHAND Ashutosh posesses a prima facie video with a verbal statement of the DFO Sant Ram, Lansedown sub division addmitting in camera of the wrong doing under the pressure of the high up, probably the minister of the department concerned.

The local media, particularly the print media which was shy and complacent in the beginning has now come out in the open to report the matter, particularly after the Conservator of forests Lansdowne range Meenakshi Joshi issuing a strict show cause notice to the DFO Sant Ram questioning him the reasons for issuing permission for the supposed cutting of 289 green trees and subsequently cancelling the same.

As a result the highly disturbed DFO not only desperately cancelled the permissions granted earlier but also instituted an enquiry to safeguard his own position. According to the investigative journalist of JAGO UTTARAKHAND Ashutosh Negi the DFO has issued arbitrary sanction to over 26 timber merchants for the cutting of over 283 tree, 49 of which has already been erased from the ground and smuggled outside the state. In the video the DFO has addmitted that he was constrained to give permission n the pressure of a high up of the forest department on the request of a district level BJP leader of Kotdwar.

The matter gained excessive attention after JAGO UTTARAKHAND POSTED THE LIVE VEDIO ON FB AND TWITTER which simultaneously went viral. Some of the news channels also highlighted the controversy and the UPCC presdent Pitam Singh and Secretary Azad Ali met the governor of UK Dr. KK Paul bringing the issue to his notice asking for penalisation of the guilty officials and culprits.
SUNIL NEGI

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What would the environmentalists say to the fully grown up trees being rampantly cut?

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What would the conscious and environmentally friendly people of Uttarakhand state and the country say when they would see these fully grown up trees being rampantly cut in a part of Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

There are two options for the conscious, right thinking people, whistle blowers, journalists, social activists, politicians, environmentalists and the common people either to keep mum and seen the broad daylight assasination of these fully grown up gree trees that pose direct and grave threat to our green environment and lives or to fight the wrong doers by bringing such arbitrary and illegal practices to the knowledge of the political dispensation ruling the state at present.

Everyone knows crystal clear that creating havoc with environment through such large scale arbitrary cutting of fully grown up trees even if it happens after proper departmental permission is wrong and unlawful as the national green tribunal, the forest act and the honourable courts forbid us to do so. But unfortunately this dastardly act has happened a few days ago and a shocking revelations by a local channel and thereafter by various television news channels including the print media has exposed the wrong doing by the people in league with the powers that be.

Sounds shocking and highly deplorable that under the direct connivance of the forest authorities of Uttarakhand such ramphant cutting of fully grown up trees is going on and every effort is being made to allegedly demoralise and threaten the journalist concerned by defaming him on false, biased, fabricated and concocted grounds knowing very well that the scribe has caught the DFO in camera allegedly accepting the wrong doing under the pressure of a high up.

The Uttarakhand Congress Committee’s state secretary Asad Ali has taken a serious note of this arbitrary act of fully grown up several green trees being cut and has called upon the chief minister of the state to take the suo motto of this serious matter and penalise the guilty responsible for this arbitrary and illegal act.

He has warned of democratic protests if no actiin is taken in the matter at the earliest. It may be recalled that a local you tube channel’s journalist Jago Uttarakhand had made this shocking exposure from ground zero a few days ago and the video went viral on facebook where in he has shown the DFO in camera accepting the role of a higher up in pressuring them to give permission for cutting these fully grown green trees in an Area called Hatniya in Kotdwar, Lansedown Garhwal.

One of the district president of the ruling party has denied any wrong doing in the matter saying that the trees were cut as per the permission granted by the DFO and has lodged a complaint (FIR) in the local police station charging the journalist of asking for money in lieu of planting the video in the FB.
The concerned journalist has outrightly denied the charge as a pressure tactics to demoralise him to withdraw the recording and the controvertial matter from the public eye.

The scribe has declared to take the matter to its logical conclusion and has in support of his contention dispatched letters to the prime minister of India as well as several higher authorities demanding justice for him and the environment of the Uttarakhand hills including bringing those responsible to justice.
SUNIL NEGI

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GAURA DEVI’S JUNGLES OF UTTRAKHAND WITNESSING ASSASINATION OF GREEN TREES/ JAAGO UK

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In Uttarakhand Himalayan State where internationally popular movements like Chipko Andolan took place years ago and its mother late Gaura Devi and the globally famous environmentalists Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna were accorded several prestigious and coveted awards like Padma Shree, Padma Vibhushan and Megsaysay for arousing mobilisation worldwide to preserve and conserve trees and our environment, the same seventeen year old state is today in the grip of rampant illegal felling of fully grown up green trees considered to be the lungs and oxygen exhalers of the environment and the society. In a shocking revelation by the prominent New Portal of Uttarakhand namely ,”JAGO UTTARAKHAND,” and a pro active journalist Ashutosh Negi, the office bearers of the district levels of the ruling party have under the alleged influence of the minister concerned pressurised the forest officers and executed the arbitrary and illegal felling of dozens of trees in Lansedown area of Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

The story clearly reveals haw rampantly are some of the local office bearers of the party in power are cutting fully grown up green trees considered to be the society’s lungs given us oxygen for our survival. The Uttarakhand Jaago news channel has caught an officer of the forest department on camera reluctantly addmitting and revealing as to how the district level office bearer has under the guise of the high up’s and the minister of the department concerned allegedly political influenced and subsequently compelled the department to issue illegal orders for the large scale cutting of pine trees in the area called HATNIYA on the KOTDWAR PAURI RASHTRIYA RAJMARG.

THIS OPEN VIOLATION OF THE FOREST ACT is a clear illegal and arbitrary action against the honourable Supreme Court and NGT’s orders under which no tree above 1000 metres can be cut at any cost. As per the story of Jago Uttarakhand despite the NGT and Supreme Court’s orders forbidding tree cutting in the hills, hundreds of files for tree cuttings have been sanctioned by now and hundreds of trees also cutted illegally to the utter dismay, surprise and shock of the environment lovers.

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