Nearly 70 residents of the National Media Centre (NMC) staged a silent protest on Wednesday against the developer and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) for allegedly destroying the green cover of their gated community.
With June 5 being the World Environment Day, the residents, holding placards, took to the streets to protest against the alleged possession of NMC's greenbelt area to construct a service road connecting to a mall. They also planted saplings at the entrance of their community.
"It was a silent protest through which we wanted to make people aware of the illegal felling of trees in our area by DLF, the developer, in connivance with Huda officials," said Dr Kulwant Singh, general secretary of NMC. Singh has been living in the society since its inception in 1986.
The protesters also performed a puja for 45-year-old peepal tree in the greenbelt that survived the developer's axe on May 17. On May 8, Huda and DLF officials allegedly had taken over a part of the green belt and cut down more than 50 trees to construct a metal road. The residents have alleged that the developer had not sought the forest department's permission before doing so.
The felling of trees was a part of a major clearance of the green belt comprising 1,057 trees for the construction of a freeway corridor, which is likely to be laid from the mall to Sectors 55 and 56. This would provide a better and easy connectivity for the residents of the DLF localities along this stretch. The project is worth Rs 600 crore.
On a petition filed by the residents last month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Gurgaon forest department and the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB) to file affidavits justifying the ground on which they allowed the felling of trees. The next hearing in the case is on Thursday.