As many as 60 trees were chopped in Raisina forest area, 10 kilometres from the city, early on Wednesday. The Bhondsi police have registered an FIR against two persons on the complaint of the forest department.
About 60 trees, big and small, were cleared from an area of nearly one acre. This area is close to Ansal Retreat farmhouse of D-20 area.
The police have registered an FIR under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Court (IPC) and Section 33-32 (tree felling without permission) of the Indian Forest Act against Rahmu and Karan of Bhondsi village. However, no one has been arrested so far.
This large-scale tree felling is a blatant violation of strict orders from the National Green Tribunal to maintain status quo in the Aravallis. Cutting trees without permission is also prohibited as per the Aravalli notification.
“About 60 trees, mostly thick vilayati kikar or prosopis juliflora were axed in the area that is notified as general section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900. Non-forest activities are restricted in these areas and tree felling requires permission as the area falls under gair mumkin pahar category,” Vasvi Tayagi, district forest officer, Gurgaon, said.
A ground staff of the forest department said that several incidents of tree felling were reported from the area in the past too. As these incidents happen late at night, it is difficult for them to nab violators, he said.
Environmentalists are worried that despite legal restrictions, such violations may eventually harm the natural ecosystem of the region. The trees were possibly axed to level the land for construction activity as the area is near farmhouses, they said.
“This tree felling incident is a planned action in the region to get access to the forest land,” Chetan Agarwal, an environment analyst, said.
On April 14, forest fire had destroyed the green cover in a 4 kilometre radius of this area.