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No construction in Aravallis without nod from high- powered committee: Haryana government to HC

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 11:52 PM IST

The Haryana government on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that no construction will be allowed in the Aravalli Hills without prior permission from a Centre-appointed high-powered committee.

The state’s additional advocate general Deepak Balyan told the high court bench of chief justice RS Jha and justice Arun Palli that only those constructions will be allowed, which have been approved by a committee set up by the Centre. Any other construction raised would be considered illegal and will be liable to be demolished.

The high court was hearing a May 2018 public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Gurugram resident, Harinder Dhingra, seeking ban on construction activity in the Aravallis.

As per the PIL, the Central government notification of 1992 says Aravallis are forest area, parts of which fall in Gurugram, Faridabad and Mewat. As per the petitioner, opening up of more areas in the Aravallis for construction will only benefit illegal farmhouse owners. In the past, multiple efforts have been made by the real estate lobby to declare parts of the Aravallis as agriculture area. The state government is trying to dilute conditions applicable on natural conservation zones too, the petitioner had alleged.

He had also questioned construction of a slaughter house in Bandhwari and a proposed road known as Greater Southern Peripheral Road passing through Aravallis, stating that it would lead to cutting of thousands of trees and environmental degradation.

The government, however, told court that the road in question was being constructed with the permission of a high-powered committee. As of the slaughterhouse in question, it does not fall under the Aravalli hill area.

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