The Dumurjala protest of Howrah


On 12th November, there was a huge protest procession at Howrah. This was done to save trees and the environment. Many people had come out in the protest, especially the people living in Dumurjala, Howrah.

The protest said, “We are fighting for Dumurjala. We will even fight in the future”. This was the slogan of the protest. Actually, the government said that there would be multiplexes and huge infrastructure buildings at Dumurjala. While making them, the labourers would have to cut down the trees and plants. The local people were protesting against this very issue.

A woman runs an organization called Aajker Prayas. The organization deals with issues on the environment. She said that the people of that very organization spent their own money to buy trees. Then they planted those trees in Dumurjala.

According to her, she and her people are trying to maintain the natural balance of the Earth. They are trying to maintain equilibrium. They are trying to save the trees and the ponds in that place.

She resides in Howrah. She thinks that it is her duty to save the place and also the natural habitat of that place. This lady says that there is no place in Howrah other than Dumurjala where one will find such greenery.

She adds that Dumurjala is the lungs of Howrah. If not preserved properly, Howrah will die of pollution and lack of oxygen. There are a lot of factories here which cause that pollution.

A lot of people from in and around Howrah come to Dumurjala in the mornings and evenings for walks. They enjoy the fresh air and their eyes absorb the greenery.

So, she along with the other protesters are trying to save the place. That is the only reason why they have gathered in protest. When asked about the condition of the place after the making of roads, she replies angrily. She says that after the labourers made the roads of concrete, they also cemented the base of the trees. This is harmful to the trees as their roots are not getting enough space to grow and spread into the soil.

Along with her, a man aged about 30 was also questioned. He said that he loves the playground there. That’s why he wants to stop the construction of concrete buildings there. Another reason is that it is the only playground in Howrah. He says that about 3 generations have played in the ground including his. If the ground is not there, where will they play? Won’t it ruin their childhood? He requests Mamata Banerjee on camera to help them preserve Dumurjala.

This man further adds that if there is no option but to create the buildings, they must do it without hampering the playground in any way. If they have to make the sports complexes, they must spare the ground made naturally.

Another man aged about 45 says that he and his friends come to the ground to spend almost 2 hours every morning. They have been doing this for almost 20 years. It has become their habit. He gave an example where there was a playground in a housing complex.

Old people used to breathe in oxygen and enjoy the natural surroundings of the playground. But then, they built the LRS (Laxmi Ratan Shukla) cricket academy. This shielded the ground from local people. They were not able to enter the ground anymore.

He poses a question to the government. He says that Dumurjala stadium and playground were already there. So, what is the need to build multiplexes named Khel Nagari? Do the people need the multiplexes to make Dumurjala a khelar nagar?

He adds that when they will be built, the government will definitely add security. Will the local people be able to enter the premises after that? Is there any guarantee of it? Will the ecosystem be maintained? After the storms that hit West Bengal, a lot of trees got destroyed. There was no government help nor any government trials to planting new trees. A few organizations had the urge to plant some trees. But they did it to achieve personal goals.

If these 56 acres of land were used for business purposes, Dumurjala would lose its identity. The local people want the place to stay as it is. It is the only reason why they are protesting. That’s it. Another march for the protest will come out on 28th November. Any interested person can join.

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