Rahul meets environmentalist Bahuguna

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Dehra Dun, Oct 22 (UNI) Allowing himself to deviate from politics, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today met veteran environmentalist Sundarlal Bahuguna at his residence in Tehri.

In the meeting which lasted 15 minutes, Mr Bahuguna discussed ecological issues related to the Tehri Dam and pointed out the grim situation of water scarcity in the region.

''Water scarcity is a very serious issue which will have negative repercussions in the region and its people. With glaciers receding at an alarming rate, we are being confronted by a crisis which can be curtailed to an extent by planting fibre trees instead of timbre trees'' he told Mr Gandhi.

Mr Bahuguna also stressed the need for planting more trees as a source of livelihood for umemployed villagers.

''Unemployed villagers can generate income by growing plants and fruit in their homes. But for this they need to be provided with fodder and fertilisers'', he said.

Describing the young Amethi MP as ''a gentle listener'', Mr Bahuguna told UNI that Mr Gandhi sat with him in his room for 15 minutes in the absence of securitymen.

Mr Gandhi also inquired about the villagers rehabilitated by the Tehri Dam and he was requested to oversee the allotment of land to the villagers, he said.

Hailing his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the environmentalist said he had met Ms Gandhi while fighting for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas as a member of the Chipko movement which led to her issuing a green-felling ban.

''The ban is effective till today'', he told Mr Gandhi.

UNI PB AKJ SB KP1747

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