Haryana to form task force to curb encroachment in Aravallis
Haryana forest minister Rao Narbir Singh said that the action plan on forming the special task force will be finalised by next weekgurgaon Updated: Jan 09, 2018 12:17 IST
Alarmed over complaints of an unauthorised road recently built to connect a farm house in the Aravallis and multiple tree felling complaints, the state government has decided to speed up the process of setting up a special task force to curb encroachment and poaching in the forests.
Rao Narbir Singh, state minister for wildlife and forests, said that the action plan on setting up the new task force will be finalised by next week.
The decision on forming the task force for forest and wildlife protection came a day after a group of residents and environmentalists met Singh and flagged concerns over rampant poaching and tree felling in the Aravallis. They urged him to expedite the process of forming the task force to bring down incidents of poaching and tree chopping in the eco-sensitive region. The activists said that the task force has been in cold storage for two years now and needs to be pursued in earnest.
The minister, who during the meeting said that he was not aware of any poaching cases in the Aravallis, assured the activists and residents that a special task force will be formed to monitor the forests and remove encroachments.
Speaking to a forest department official, he enquired about the check posts in the Aravallis that were operational till March last year. He was told that since the state budget didn’t provide for any allocations for operating the check posts after March, many of them were dismantled by the forest department due to paucity of funds.
“I will hold talks with the forest department and see to it that the check posts become operational soon. I wasn’t aware that they had been dismantled and will hold discussions with forest officials next week,” Singh said.
The forest department is yet to get the status report that it sought on the unauthorised road along the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway, near Bandhwari village.
Environment activists claimed that the road is illegal as it was built in an area which comes within the ambit of sections 4 and 5 of Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and a prohibition on any non-forest activities is in force there.
“We sent a team on December 30 to prepare a report about the road. However, we are yet to get details about the road. We will take appropriate action once we get a clear picture. We expect to get a report by Monday,” Satya Bhan, chief conservator of forest, south Haryana, told Hindustan Times.