Save Forest From Becoming a Car Testing Site

Pune, India

Target: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India

Goal: Return expansive forest land before it is cut and used to test cars.

More than 130 acres of forest have been given to the Automotive Research Association of India, or ARAI. Citizens are understandably outraged, as this reserved forest land is some of the last green space left in the city of Pune. Organizations and citizens alike, as well as the State Forest Department, are demanding that the government seize back the land that was given to ARAI.

ARAI owns and occupies more than 130 acres of land, but uses far less than that, with their offices, lab and parking areas taking up about 7 acres altogether. The company has held their 130 acres for more than 6 years, and some argue that ARAI has expanded into the forest past the allotment that was legally theirs. The company has failed to develop or otherwise use the remaining 123 acres, which are heavily forested. Many are now calling for this leftover, unused land to be returned to state protection.

The company initially claimed that the land was needed for testing cars, an effort that would require the clearcutting of more than 18,000 trees. However, no development has taken place toward that end in the last six years that ARAI has owned the land. Urge the central environment ministry to return this unused forest land, one of the last remaining green sites in the city, to state protection before it is clear-cut and used as a car testing facility.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,

Over 130 acres of forest were allotted to Automotive Research Association of India, or ARAI, who currently use less than 10 acres of this land. Though ARAI has owned this land for the last six years, and has stated plans to turn the land into a testing facility for cars, no action has been taken toward that end to date. If this plan goes into action, however, 18,000 trees will be clear-cut and the forest will be lost.

Citizens are understandably upset, as very little green space is left in the city of Pune. Green space is a desperately needed resource, and is critical to both community and environmental health. We, the undersigned, demand that you return this forested land to the public and place it under government protection before it is clear-cut and used as a car-testing facility.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: actual_saurabh

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