Haryana could lose 30% forest cover in NCZ if construction ban is lifted | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Haryana could lose 30% forest cover in NCZ if construction ban is lifted

Haryana government had favoured lifting construction ban in the Aravalli hills region, the whole of NCR and more areas under the Aravalli notification of 1992 in a proposal to the Union urban development ministry and the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) in December last year

gurgaon Updated: Feb 20, 2017 22:56 IST
Ipsita Pati
Haryana has the second lowest forest cover after Punjab.
Haryana has the second lowest forest cover after Punjab.(MANOJ KUMAR/HT FILE)


Haryana could lose as much as 30% forest cover in the Natural Conservation Zone (NCZ) if the proposed plan of the state government to lift the ban on construction in the zone gets approved.

Should the plan get the clearance, 51,000 hectares of protected area in the NCZ could be encroached upon.

The Natural Conservation Zone is categorised under two heads — ‘confirmed’ NCZ and ‘yet to be decided’ NCZ. While the former has 51,000 hectares of forest land in its cover, the latter spreads across 11,500 hectares.

Also, according to the Forest Survey of India report, 30% of total forest area in the state falls in natural conservation zones. The NCZ is defined as an area where construction beyond a limit of 0.5% is not permitted under the Regional Plan- 2021 (RP-’21). Haryana has 1,70,000 hectares of forest area which does not include the ‘yet to be decided’ NCZ as per the data released by the state forest department, official sources said.

The plan, if sanctioned, could pose a grave risk to over 11,000 hectares of forest land in Gurgaon and Faridabad which are yet to be incorporated in the ‘yet to be decided’ NCZ category. Of the forest land that is yet to be included in this category, the Gurgaon district alone accounts for 10,000 hectares. Sources said the land was left out of the NCZ as the state government is yet to take a call on its forest status.

In its proposal to the Union urban development ministry and the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) in December last year, the Haryana government spoke in favour of lifting construction ban in the Aravalli hills region, the whole of NCR and more areas under the Aravalli notification of 1992.

Read I Gurgaon: Over 60 trees felled in Raisina forest area

The region has, of late, seen large-scale and indiscriminate felling of trees, especially in the forested areas. This has put the region at risk of losing a significant portion of its tree cover. Of all the states, Haryana has the second lowest forest cover after Punjab.

“The NCR Regional Plan 2021, which was published in 2005, clearly states that the areas surrounding the Aravalli hills are part of the NCZ. The RP-’21 is a blueprint for planned development in the NCR,” Chetan Agarwal, an environment analyst, said.

The regional plan has a chapter on land use that clearly mentions different land use categories in NCZ section. The NCZ is split under six sub-heads — forest areas, water bodies, river beds, paleo-channels, notified sanctuaries and foot hills.

Know the Natural Conservation Zone

The NCZ is defined as an area where construction beyond a limit of 0.5% is not permitted under the Regional Plan- 2021 (RP-’21). It is further classified as ‘confirmed’ NCZ and ‘yet to be decided’ NCZ.

Total confirmed NCZ areas in NCR on Haryana side — 51,000 hectares

Total area in NCR, on the Haryana side, that are part of ‘yet to-be-decided’ NCZ — 11,500 hectares

District ----------Confirmed NCZ -----------Yet-to-be-decided NCZ

Gurgaon --------------12,000 hectares ---------------4,500 hectares

Faridabad -----------10,300 hectares ---------------- 3,000 hectares

Rewari -------------7,300 hectares ----------------------- 2,000 hectares

Palwal --------------2,400 hectares --------------------500 hectares

Mewat ----------------19,000 hectares ------------------1,500 hectares

District ----------Confirmed NCZ -----------Yet-to-be-decided NCZ

Gurgaon --------------12,000 hectare ---------------4,500 hectare

Faridabad -----------10,300 hectare ---------------- 3,000 hectare

Rewari -------------7,300 hectare ----------------------- 2,000 hectare

Palwal --------------2,400 hectare --------------------500 hectare

Mewat ----------------19,000 hectare ------------------1,500 hectare