The residents of DLF Phase 1 on Thursday planted more than 10 saplings of fragrant trees at the Sikanderpur green belt where as many as 40 trees were axed illegally on Tuesday morning.
Trees were cleared from a one-acre patch of the green belt, which comes under the Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act. Tree felling without permission is an offence in such areas.
The residents gathered at the area around 4pm on Thursday and planted spalings of fruit and flower bearing trees to reclaim the forest patch.
“We are trying to restore the balance of the ecosystem by planting saplings,” said Bhavya Gupta, a resident of DLF Phase-1.
Resident Ravinder Yadav said, “We have filed a complaint against the illegal activities that is rampant in this area. We have requested the forest department to act against the violators. There is no enforcement of law on the ground by any of the government agencies.”
The forest department said it will conduct an assessment of the area to identify how many trees were axed. “We have already written to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) seeking proper action. We will conduct an inspection of the area,” said MD Sinha, conservator of forest, South Haryana.
The forest department has also written to the MCG seeking a clarification on the incident and also asked the agency to fence the green belt located near DLF Phase-1.
The 130-acre area was supposed to be transferred to the forest department by the MCG in exchange of land in Bhandwari waste treatment plant. At present, the MCG owns the land.
The MCG, in July 2015, had agreed to transfer land to the forest department for the development of a forest. This area is opposite the Aravalli Biodiversity Park. However, because of lack of will on the part of the civic body, it has not yet transferred the land to the forest department. Many instances of dumping of carcasses and waste, and tree felling have been reported in the area in the past.