Two days after it was reported that National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB) chairman Kamal Nath directed the Haryana government to incorporate a contentious clause in the state’s sub regional plan, opening doors for construction in the garb of recreational activity in upto 0.5% of the land in the environmentally sensitive natural conservation zone, the Haryana government on Sunday denied it.
A spokesman of the town and country planning department (TCPD) said, “The allegation regarding conversion of forest areas into natural conservation zone in which developers can construct buildings is borne out of total ignorance of the law.
Neither the NCRPB nor the state government can violate the forest laws. Besides, no authority can convert the forest areas in to any other zone or area.”
Reacting to INLD leader, Abhay Chautala’s allegations, the town and country planning department spokesman said no hurry was shown in holding the board meeting on April 25.
“These charges have been levelled without making any attempt to understand the statutory provisions of the NCRPB Act as per which the board is required to examine the sub-regional plan submitted by state government and to communicate its observations within 60 days from the date of receipt of such a plan.
Since the Sub-Regional Plan was submitted by Haryana on October 25, 2013, the board was under an obligation to communicate its observations within 60 days i.e. till December 24, 2013. The meeting of the board to consider Haryana’s sub - regional plan which has finally taken place on April 25, 2014 should actually have been held much earlier,” the spokesman said.
The town and country planning department spokesman denied that any decision taken in the board meeting will benefit the builders since no licence or change of land use (CLU) applications are to be filed or considered on the basis of the sub regional plan.
However, Haryana gover nment has to submit a compliance report before the Punjab a nd Haryana high court by May 9 on the status of its sub regional plan vis-a-vis the NCRPB’s observations. The HC has restrained the state government from issuing any colonisation licences, change of land use per missions till the time the sub regional plan is approved by the National Capital Regional Planning Board.
“INLD’s alle gation re garding the unceremonious exit of union environment secretary from the board meeting was also incorrect as he was not a member of the board and was invited as a special invitee.
Immediately after he had presented his viewpoint, he left to attend his other engagements since other agenda items did not require his presence,” the spokesman said.
Also union minister Girija Vyas attended the meeting as a board member and even without her presence, the quorum would have been completed, he said.