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This morning i was pained beyond verbal expression on reading a news item in Indian Express, print edition, Bangalore. It seems for this Christmas celebration and holidaying, our Prez Prathibha and 10 of her kith and kin decided to holiday at Andaman & Nicobar island and you know what was the repercussion of her decision?! 60 most precious trees in the most environmentally protected park there were mercilessly cut down just to make a helipad for her jolly landing! Can anything be more environmentally dishonourable act?? And the personal secretary of hers has the cheek to say that he was not aware of how many trees were going to be cut and he has passed the buck to the forest officer of that island.  Is this not a blatant environmental abuse? – just to please our president madam and her party for a mere stay of 2-3 days, how could they order cutting of 60 most precious trees which must have been 200 to 300 year old?? When our prez decides to holiday at a place, is it not her foremost duty to see that the environment of the surroundings are not harmed in anyway by her visit? It is the most atrocious assault that every environmental activist and lover should very strongly protest! We citizens can not keep our eyes and ears shut to such a crime on the environment, that too in such a peace loving and peace spreading place like Andamans.

It is not just this. Just to accommodate her entourage, all advance bookings done by the travellers to these 5-star resorts for Christmas and New year vacation were unceremoniously cancelled, telling all of them that they had to give priority to the VVIPs! Did they not understand the hardship and inconveniences that these travellers and tourists are put into and what an image India would create in the minds of the Foreign tourists!

I understand that hundreds and thousands of trees are being cut down everywhere to make way for civilization. But the cutting down of trees is atleast helping thousands of people to build their homes, industries and somewhere adding to the National Income. Here I am not endorsing it. But atleast people are asked to plant a tree elsewhere in lieu of this act. But cutting down such heritage trees to please our prez and her kith and kin’s fancies is UNPARDONABLE!

I am ashamed at the insensitivity of our Prez!

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