The Supreme Court has issued notices to various state and Central government agencies seeking explanations as to why an environment assessment was not conducted before deciding to acquire 6,000 acres of agricultural land for extension of Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar.
Orders to this effect were issued on Monday while hearing a writ petition filed by Fertile Land Protection Movement, Women’s Action Forum and representatives of affected villagers.
The petition contests the government move as the environment and livelihood of thousands of farmers is at stake.
“No Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was done before going ahead with plans to acquire vast tracts of land. Also, the move violates Article 14 of the constitution which prohibits arbitrariness exercised by the government,” said Bhupender Yadav, counsel for the petitioners.
He claimed the acquisition would translate into loss of 14,000 tones of food grains, 9,000 tones of vegetables, 11,000 tones of fruit, 100 tones of flowers and thousands of litres of milk and other products.
The defendants, to whom the notices have been issued, include the Haryana government, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC), ministry of environment and forests, ministry of urban development and others.
A senior HSIIDC official called the government action ‘bonafide’ and said, “We will carry out environment checks only when we have the land in our possession. Calling it agricultural land is not right, though it is currently being used for the purpose. Whatever is being done is in sync with Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex Plan (master plan) 2025. When the master plan draft was made in 2006, public objections were duly called.”