The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by the Supreme Court (SC) has recommended demolition of residential colonies in the Aravali hills in Gurgaon. According to CEC’s latest report there should be a complete ban on construction activity in the region.
No Construction in Gurgaon
Following its earlier report on Faridabad wherein the CEC suggested pulling down even those buildings that came up subsequent to Haryana Government’s permission, the high-powered committee has listed 45 villages in Gurgaon district where construction activity has destroyed the Aravali greens.
The prominent villages are Sikander Ghosi, Nathupur, Tikli, Raipur, Sikohpur, Jalalpur and Alipur. “After examination of the relevant information and the maps, the CEC is of the view that the broad principles and recommendations made by the CEC in its January report in respect of Aravali hills area in Faridabad district are equally applicable in respect of Aravali Hills area falling in Gurgaon district,” the report stated.
CEC has, however, left it to the special forest bench of SC to take a final decision on its report.
Haryana Govt defends pvt colonies in Faridabad
Citing an earlier SC order, the Haryana Government has claimed construction of buildings in the Aravali range, with appropriate permission under the law, cannot be illegal. Advocating for private colonies, the Government in its affidavit before SC stated: “Therefore, it is suggested that such buildings should not be demolished, at least without hearing their owners as necessary parties.”
The Government, however, admitted not granting permission to M/s Karamyogi Shelters Private Limited and M/s Kenwood Mercantile. The constructions undertaken at Kant Enclave and Lakewood City were subsequent to government licenses, the affidavit stated. Haryana Government has requested SC to consider CEC’s recommendations pertaining to HUDA colonies independent of any action to be taken by departments of the State Government.
SC may not ban mining completely
The special forest bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan on Wednesday indicated it may not pass any orders on the CEC’s recommendations to ban mining in the Aravalis of Faridabad and Gurgaon.
The bench said : “If the State Government wants to act on the CEC’s report, we are not to stop it….we are not passing any orders banning mining activity.”
The observation came after advocates A.D. N. Rao and Ranjit Kumar, said the mining lease given to private contractors was without the Central Government’s approval and, therefore, illegal. Kumar said an earlier SC order of 1996 has proved to be prophetic. He pointed out how the court had predicted drying of water bodies at Badkal Lake and Surajkund.
Aravali Rehabilitation Fund
The court will on Thursday continue the hearing on the issue of illegal mining and consider CEC’s proposal to ban it and earmark 600 hectares land which could be auctioned for mining. The money generated would be used for setting up the Aravali Rehabilitation Fund.