Dehradun : The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday sent a video to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders highlighting the environmental significance of an old tea estate site, which the state government has proposed to develop as smart city, and demanded that proposal be rejected.

AAP leader Anoop Nautiyal, who released the video to media, also sent it to Uttarakhand Governor Krishna Kant Paul, Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and other senior officials. The video highlights the greenery, natural beauty and environmental significance of the 150-year-old tea estate.

Terming the proposal as “anti-environment” and “anti-people”, he said anyone who watches the video will reject it as it will deal a blow to the environment and displace a large number of people. He said the state government’s proposal “would not have most likely given you the correct and complete picture” of the site to be developed as smart city.

“Hence, I decided to make this video. I’m hopeful that after evaluating all the details and seeing this video you will surely disqualify the Uttarakhand government’s smart city proposal for being completely anti-environment,” he said. In the e-mail he claimed a vast majority of Dehradun residents have given thumbs down to this proposal.

Nautiyal has been vehemently protesting the state government’s proposal for some time now. He and other AAP workers had held a demonstration outside the proposed site on January 24 and accused the Congress government in Uttarakhand of trying to benefit real estate companies by constructing the smart city on a tea estate. Nautiyal alleged the state government’s decision was aimed at helping corporate giants.

The proposed smart city on the tea estate land has already drawn opposition from the BJP and environmentalists, besides the locals and plantation workers.

Dehradun is one of the 98 cities selected by the Centre to be developed as a smart city in the first phase. Chief Minister Harish Rawat had earlier said the smart city project would be taken up on the tea estate due to non-availability of suitable land elsewhere.–PTI

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