Two days after an HT report highlighted how the marble business continues unabated in the Sikandarpur market in violation of norms, traders demolished nearly 20 offices on their own on Tuesday.
All the 45 structures will be pulled down by Thursday, the marble dealers said. “We are demolishing our offices on our own and will demolish all pucca structures by Thursday,” said Sant Ram Goyal, president of the Sikandarpur Marble Dealers Association.
Following the HT report, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) commissioner Ashok Sangwan warned marble dealers to demolish their structures before Thursday.
On March 14, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi, that had earlier banned marble trade on forest land of Sikandarpur, took suo motu action. It quashed its trade ban order and issued fresh orders to demolish all pucca structures in two weeks.
The municipal body has to submit the action taken report to NGT by April 5.
The NGT allowed trade on the plea of the forest department which told the court that it is not forest land. “This is not forest land so we cannot appeal the court to stop trade but construction is not allowed,” said Pankaj Goyal, chief conservator. Construction in the area is banned under the Aravalli Notification of 1992.
It is estimated that more than 150 pucca structures, including 45 shop-cum-offices of marble dealers and gas godowns, exist on the forest land.
Earlier on January 23, the NGT’s marble trade ban and sealing order created a flutter in the Gurgaon administrative machineries -- MCG, forest department and state pollution department – that are responsible for curbing commercial activity on forest land at Sikandarpur.
Following the NGT order, MCG had sealed two mobile towers, one general store and a liquor vend. The civic body also deployed a videographer to record all commercial activity and informed the local police to keep a tab on marble trade.
“The NGT order to demolish the pucca structures will be followed in letter and spirit,” said a marble trader.