Gurgaon: Illegal road, wall come up in Aravallis near Bandhwari village
The area from where the illegal construction has been reported comes under sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab and Haryana Land Protection Act; these areas are protected and any kind of non-forest activity is prohibitedgurgaon Updated: Dec 29, 2017 23:43 IST
A letter highlighting illegal construction—of a road and a wall in the Aravalli areas of Gurgaon and Faridabad divisions—along the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway near Bandhwari village has reached the office of the Gurgaon conservator of forest.
The area from where the illegal construction has been reported comes under sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab and Haryana Land Protection Act (PLPA) 1990, the letter by environment activist Chetan Agarwal, states, adding that road constriction is a non-forest activity and in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
Areas falling under sections 4 and 5 of the PLPA are protected and any kind of non-forest activity is prohibited.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Agarwal said, “This road is perpendicular to the highway and provides direct access to fragments of the Aravalli hills and forests. There are also signs of new construction in the hills along the road.”
The activist, in his letter, on Thursday appealed to the forest conservator to stop the road construction, and raze the constructed portions so it does not allow real estate developers access to the Aravalli forests. In his letter, he has urged the conservator of forest to take the strongest possible action against the violators.
Agarwal also pointed out that a wall is also being built in the Aravalli forests of the Faridabad division between Ankhir Chowk and Siddhanta Temple on the left-hand side of the road.
Stating that such illegal activities are rampant in the Aravallis, which lacks patrolling by the forest department, the activist said the authorities have taken no strong action against violators in the past.
“More than 90% forest area in Gurgaon and Faridabad is under private ownership and the trees are being felled in the entire region,” Jitender Bhadana of Save Aravalli said.
Meanwhile, the forest department officials said that they are aware of the illegal construction in Aravallis and have ordered an inquiry.
“Our staff have been asked to investigate both the illegal construction activities and take action against the people involved. We have directed the divisional forest officers of Gurgaon and Faridabad to look into the matter,” chief conservator of forest, south Haryana Satya Bhan said.
There’s little clarity on the status of land in most areas in the Aravallis making the forests open to exploitation by real estate developers. Cases of tree felling are rampant and loss of habitat leads to man-animal conflict, in turn threatening wildlife.