As many as 60 trees were chopped in Raisina forest area -- 15 kilometres from the city late on Wednesday. The trees were cleared from a one-acre plot between D-36 and D-42 of Ansal Retreat.
Even as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered to maintain status quo in the Aravallis, large scale tree felling continues in blatant violation of the green tribunal’s orders . Cutting trees without permission is also prohibited as per the Aravalli notification.
“We have not given any permission for tree felling in the area,” a senior forest official said.
The Haryana forest department on Thursday issued a damage report of the incident. The area comes under General Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, which prohibits non-forest activity in the area.
“Tree felling instances have increased in the area as it is not protected under forest category. It is under ‘status to be determined’ category, which provides a loophole for violators to encroach upon forest land,” Naresh Kataria, forest range officer, Sohna, said.
The department is probing the matter. “Fencing and clearing forest land is illegal. We have already indentified the person who was involved in felling trees. He is in our custody and we will file a case against him,” Kataria said.
Experts said the Raisina forest area falls under the natural conservation zone where construction beyond 0.5% is not permitted, as per the National Capital Regional Plan 2021.
RP Balwant, former conservator of forest, south Haryana, said, “These kind of incidents disturb the natural ecosystem as the indigenous species of trees are bring felled and in their place, exotic plants are being planted. This area is dry, and the depth of the soil is around 30 to 40 cm and cannot support exotic species.”
--- December 10: Around 200 to 250 trees spread over two acres were cut down in Raisina forest area, close to Ansal Retreat in G Block.
-- April 14: Fire engulfed 3-4 kms of the green area on Aravalli hills near village Tikli, 15 kms from Gurgaon.
-- In the past one year, large scale tree felling has been reported at least 25 times from parts of southern Haryana.
---20 FIRs have been registered in the past year against offenders for cutting trees.