Dehradun, Apr 24 (PTI) Social activist Anoop Nautiyal has opposed a proposal to construct a helipad at the President’s Estate in the city, ‘Ashiana’, saying it would cause massive damage to the environment.

He has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting him to drop the plan.

He cited reports in a section of the local media that the proposal, cleared by the President’s Secretariat recently, would involve largescale chopping of trees and relocation of people living on the periphery of ‘Ashiana’.

Noting that increased construction activities have already done enough damage to the city’s environment, he said a World Health Organization (WHO) survey ranked Dehradun as the 31st most polluted city in the world.

“Dehradun has environmentally, ecologically and aesthetically been ravaged repeatedly by tasteless constructions. Air quality in Dehradun has deteriorated significantly. We are today the 31st most polluted city in the world as per the WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database,” the social activist said.

“I request you to kindly instruct your secretariat to completely abandon the idea of building the helipad in ‘Ashiana’. There are already two helipads in Sahastradhara and Cantt area which are barely 5-10 kms from ‘Ashiana’. On top of this, presidential visits to Dehradun are extremely rare.

“Considering all these facts if the helipad were to still come up at the President’s Estate, then it will be one more nail in the green coffin of Dehradun. I earnestly hope that you will send out a strong message of environmental conservation and augmentation by taking a firm no-helipad stand on the issue,” he wrote to Mukherjee.

The president had stayed in ‘Ashiana’, also called the President’s Bodyguard Estate, for three days in September last after its renovation.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.