The Haryana government on Monday issued a notification stating that Mangar Bani is a ‘no-construction zone’ now and it will soon be included in the sub-regional plan. The 677.12 acres of Mangar Bani and its buffer area of 1,266.91 acres are now free from encroachment.
A senior official said that the Haryana forest department recently undertook a demarcation exercise in Mangar close to Faridabad-Gurgaon road and it was only after the exercise that the proposal for approval was forwarded to the chief minister. “The demarcation process has been completed and it was on the basis of this demarcation in Mangar Bani that the government approved the proposal,” said Anil Dabas, district town planner, Faridabad.
“We have issued notification for Mangar Bani and we will make some amendments in the Mangar Development Plan 2031 before making changes in the sub-regional plan,” said P Raghavendra Rao, additional chief secretary of the government of Haryana.
Mangar Bani is considered to be the last and the only remaining virgin forest area of Delhi-NCR. ‘Bani’ is a block of forest area with dense tree cover that falls within Mangar and Bandhwari villages.
“We are on the right direction and we welcome the move,” said Col SS Oberoi, an activist. Since the area is also connected with Sariska Tiger Reserve that is about 100 km to the south and Asola Wildlife Sanctuary across the Gurgaon Faridabad highway, there was a dire need to preserve the forest area, said an activist.
Expressing a similar opinion, environmentalist Chetan Agarwal said, “This is a welcome move to notify the Mangar Bani and its buffer on scientific principles as a ‘no-construction zone’. The time has come to notify Mangar Bani as a sanctuary or national park to accord permanent protection for future generations.”
Many green crusaders maintained that this is a positive step. “It is a move to save Mangar Bani. It might seem like a small step if we look at the area of the Aravallis. However, these actions pave way for a better future. The government should take immediate action to increase the green cover,” said Vivek Kamboj, environmental activist.
Some environmentalists also said that the government needs to focus on protection and preservation of the complete area of the Aravallis. “We want that the government take whatever measures possible to ensure protection of the entire Aravalli area,” said Jitender Bhadana of Save Aravalli Trust.
With inputs from Prabhu Razdan in Faridabad