Environment activists on Monday wrote to the Prime Minister and the Haryana chief minister to take action against Gurgaon civic agencies for dumping construction waste in a forest area opposite the Biodiversity Park.
The activists alleged that construction waste from the Gurgaon-Faridabad road, which was being cleared ahead of the PM’s visit to the city, was dumped on forest land. Around 200 trees were hemmed in by debris, they said. They have also filed a complaint at the DLF I police station regarding the same.
On Sunday morning, activist Vivek Kamboj allegedly caught an official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) giving orders to dump construction waste in an area where the forest department was planning to develop a city forest area.
“On Sunday morning, we saw two earthmovers and other vehicles of the Huda and the MCG dumping waste in the forest area. I was shocked to find a Huda official at the spot. Waste was being dumped there under his supervision. This activity is a threat to the wildlife and the ecological cycle of the area,” he added.
When asked about the matter, the MCG denied the allegations. “We were not dumping waste in forest area. That area does not fall under forest land. We will take proper steps to scientifically dispose the waste,” TL Satyaprakash, acting commissioner of the MCG, said. Huda officials also maintained that the area did not come under forest land.
Meanwhile, the forest department officials said the area was under forest land and any dumping on the site was illegal. “Cases of dumping on such sites have been reported earlier as well. I have sent a notice to the district forest officer and the same will be sent to the MCG and the Huda, seeking clarifications for dumping construction waste in the forest area, which comes under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 ,” MD Sinha, conservator of forest, Gurgaon, said.
Environmentalists also pointed out that the government officials cannot dump garbage on any vacant public land. “A plot lying vacant does not mean waste can be dumped there. That area was not a garbage dumping site,” Chitr Kunwar, an environment activist, said.
According to Solid Waste Management Rules, 2015, of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change, landfill sites should be set far away from forest areas, wildlife clusters and water bodies, among others. The rule also stated that it was the duty of the local municipal council and district administration to keep a check on the dumping of solid waste in forest areas.