Tag: Thousands

In recreation of chipko movement, thousands gather to oppose felling of over 10,000 trees in Uttarak- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: In recreation of famous ‘Chipko Movement’ dating back to 1973, thousands gathered in Thano of Dehradun on Sunday opposing felling of over 10,000 trees for expansion of Dehradun airport. 

A 12-year-old ‘Global Climate Activist’ Ridhima Pandey termed as Greta Thunberg of India, who was also there to support ‘Save Thano Forest’ movement said, “We are hell-bent on destroying our ecosystem mercilessly. This is a threat to whole mankind. These forests are source of life. We will be protesting against the felling of trees until the decision is reversed.”

Thousands of locals of Thano, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Bhaniyawala gathered and tied ‘Raksha Sutras’ to the trees pledging to protect those trees.

Slogans were raised and Raksha Sutras were tied around trees which represent that ‘we the people’ are the protectors of the forest.

A man hugs a tree after tying the Raksha Sutra.

Ayush Joshi, an environmental engineer and one of the protestors said, “At this age, where we as a country pledge to plant more trees, we are cutting more than ever. Thano forest works as the carbon and pollution sink of Dehradun, keeping it free of pollution issues. We must find a way to develop plans to allow our future generations to a be able to feel and benefit from the natural resources.”

Activists, environmentalists are apprehensive that the move to cut the trees in the Thano range of the Dehradun forest division could affect wildlife movement in the elephant corridors and change course of a river in the vicinity of the forest. 

Aanchal Sharma (28), a resident of Dehradun has started campaign on change.org urging the government to roll back its decision. It has got more than 20,000 signatures within three days. 

“As I have said earlier too that this planet belongs to all species and not only to humans. We should be more considerate if we want our next generations to live and thrive in sync with nature,” said Sharma. 

Many experts pointing out the problems stated that Uttarakhand is already ‘bleeding’ from the ‘devastation’ due to parachuted development ideas.

“Projects like this will destroy our sources of existence and our sources of life. Every single time, the entire model of development adopted by the current government for the sensitive Himalayan region of Uttarakhand is dangerous.

“It should have been taken up with immense care. The government wants to copy paste the development models of the plains and don’t want to invest time and energy even to understand what sustainability means.

“This is a clear evidence that the state has no intentions to conserve and are wearing blind fold to even analyse the needs of the future,” said Vishal Singh, one of the protestors and and expert on environmental issues who has been working on projects for more than a decade now. 

The Uttarakhand government has sought the National Wildlife Board (NWB)’s approval to transfer 243 acres of forest land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for expanding the airport. 

The current

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Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day of pre-travel testing

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Tourists heading to Hawaii can now avoid the island’s 14-day quarantine if they take a state-approved COVID-19 test before arrival. The first passengers under the new rules left San Francisco International Airport on Thursday morning. (Oct. 15)

AP Domestic

About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on the first day of a pre-travel testing program that allowed travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

Angela Margos was among the first passengers in San Francisco to get on a plane to Hawaii Thursday morning.

“Vacation, peace of mind,” said Margos, a nurse from San Carlos, California, of why she’s flying to Hawaii. “I need time to relax, unwind.”

The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Officials had touted the mandatory quarantine rule as an integral part of Hawaii’s early success in keeping the coronavirus at bay.

But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.

And when local restrictions were eased before summertime holidays, community spread of the disease spiked to alarming levels, forcing a second round of stay-at-home orders for residents and closures for non-essential businesses.

Margos ran into hiccups with getting her test. She first did it at the hospital where she works, only to find out it wasn’t an approved site for United Airlines and the state of Hawaii. She then paid $105 for a drive-thru test, but she was later informed there was an error with that test.

State officials assist visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Honolulu. A new pre-travel testing program will allow visitors who test negative for COVID-19 to come to Hawaii and avoid two weeks of mandatory quarantine goes into effect Thursday. The pandemic has caused a devastating downturn on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands. (Photo: Marco Garcia, AP)

Margos ultimately paid $250 for a fast-result test Thursday at the airport in San Francisco, which came back negative.

Opponents of the testing program have said a single test 72 hours before arrival — especially when coupled with the option to fly without a test and still quarantine — is not enough to keep island residents safe.

Kathleen Miyashita and her husband were among those who came to Hawaii Thursday without getting tested. They said they plan to quarantine at their family’s farm on Oahu.

“We chose to do the 14-day quarantine,” Miyashita said. “We have no issues with having food being brought in. It’s like a quarantining haven in terms of having fresh fruits and vegetables at home.”

She said she and her husband were “not at all” concerned about being asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

“We’ve been traveling, and we just

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Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing

Honolulu (AP) — About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on the first day of a pre-travel testing program that allowed travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

Angela Margos was among the first passengers in San Francisco to get on a plane to Hawaii Thursday morning.

“Vacation, peace of mind,” said Margos, a nurse from San Carlos, California, of why she’s flying to Hawaii. “I need time to relax, unwind.”

The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Officials had touted the mandatory quarantine rule as an integral part of Hawaii’s early success in keeping the coronavirus at bay.

But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.


And when local restrictions were eased before summertime holidays, community spread of the disease spiked to alarming levels, forcing a second round of stay-at-home orders for residents and closures for non-essential businesses.

Margos ran into hiccups with getting her test. She first did it at the hospital where she works, only to find out it wasn’t an approved site for United Airlines and the state of Hawaii. She then paid $105 for a drive-thru test, but she was later informed there was an error with that test.

Margos ultimately paid $250 for a fast-result test Thursday at the airport in San Francisco, which came back negative.

Opponents of the testing program have said a single test 72 hours before arrival — especially when coupled with the option to fly without a test and still quarantine — is not enough to keep island residents safe.

Kathleen Miyashita and her husband were among those who came to Hawaii Thursday without getting tested. They said they plan to quarantine at their family’s farm on Oahu.

“We chose to do the 14-day quarantine,” Miyashita said. “We have no issues with having food being brought in. It’s like a quarantining haven in terms of having fresh fruits and vegetables at home.”

She said she and her husband were “not at all” concerned about being asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

“We’ve been traveling, and we just take precautions,” she said, adding that they had already done one quarantine in Hawaii about two months ago.

Hawaii’s economy is almost entirely built around tourism, and local families who rely on the sector to survive need to return to work.

More than 100 of Hawaii’s approximately 4,000 restaurants, bakeries and caterers have closed permanently and more than 50% predict they will not survive the coming months, officials have said.

Monica Toguchi Ryan, whose family has owned and operated The Highway Inn restaurant on Oahu for over 70 years, said the lack of tourism has been crippling.

“The restaurant and service industry has suffered so much during this pandemic,” Toguchi Ryan said. “Restaurants have not received any federal

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