The depleting water table in the Aravali Hills region of Faridabad has forced the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to recommend demolition of farmhouses, banquet halls and residential buildings in the area.
The committee has been appointed by the SC's forest bench to look into environmental issues relating to diversion of forest land for other purposes.
The committee's concern for the extremely eco-sensitive nature of the Aravali Hills is evident in its latest report wherein it has suggested pulling down of even those buildings for which permission was given by the Haryana government.
The main colonies that are likely to face the bulldozers -- if the special forest bench of SC accepts the report -- are Kant Enclave, part of Lake Wood and acres of Ken Wood Mercantile Private Limited. Numerous farmhouses, banquet halls and buildings will also come under the scanner.
"Almost the entire Aravali Hill range in Faridabad district is in the process of colonization and other non-forestry use. It is imperative to ensure that no non-forestry use, except absolutely necessary and unavoidable government projects required in public interest are permitted in such areas," read the report.
It brushed aside apprehensions of the Haryana government that the large-scale demolition in the area may lead to serious law and order problems, besides irreparable injury to allottees.
The committees further disagreed with the state government's argument that such colonies should be regularised. "Such large-scale illegal use of forest land for private use or profit would not be in public interest and should not be condoned," the committee stated in response to Haryana government's plea.
It did not even spared colonies developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) following acquisition of land under Section 4 and 5 of the State Act in the region.
It has only exempted certain areas of the colonies from demolition. However, out of 98 acres of Leisure Valley in Sector 44, only 47 49 acres will be notified and maintained as reserved forest area. Eighty acres of land in Anantpur and 250 acres in Sectors 44 and 47 would also be notified as protected forests.