MCG signs agreement for private firm to maintain Aravalli park
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and Hero Motorcorp Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the ecological restoration and conservation of the Aravalli Biodiversity Park till 2031, an official release by the civic body on Monday stated.
According to MCG officials, Hero Motorcorp Limited will maintain and beautify the Aravalli Biodiversity Park for a period of 10 years and spend ₹1.25 crore annually for maintaining the park under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar also attended the meeting via videoconference, said MCG officials.
The MoU was signed by MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh and representatives of the motorcycle and scooter manufacturing company at the PWD Rest House in Civil Lines.
“This is an excellent example of a public and private partnership which will not only support the ecological restoration of the vast park, protect its existing wildlife and forest reserves also but continue to be a source of providing fresh air to the city and help check localised air pollution,” said Singh.
The Aravalli Biodiversity Park is spread across 390 acres and has semi-arid vegetation, with around 300 native plants, 101,000 trees, 43,000 shrubs, and 185 different types of birds.
IAmGurgaon, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), was looking after the maintenance of the Aravalli Biodiversity Park from 2014 till December last year until its contract with the MCG expired.
The MCG’s horticulture wing was maintaining the park in the interim. The park was opened on June 5, 2010, on World Environment Day. Before it became a full-fledged urban forest, it was an abandoned mining site. In November 2002, the Supreme Court banned all mining activities in the Aravalli mountains, a month after which the Haryana government had also issued a similar order.
“Proper maintenance of the park is essential as the park is the city’s main source of clean air. The MCG should now shift its focus on ensuring it is no longer used as a venue for hosting cultural festivals and also deal with encroachment on the outskirts of the park, especially near Nathupur, where cases of tree felling, rampant construction, and illegal borewells have been reported,” said Vaishali Rana Chandra, a city-based environmentalist.
“Haryana is the home of Hero MotoCorp, and we consider this our utmost responsibility and duty to preserve the natural ecosystem and the habitat within the state. We look forward to continuing working closely with the local administration and communities in making Gurugram and the state of Haryana a role model in creating a green and sustainable natural habitat,” said Dr Pawan Munjal, chairman and chief executive officer, Hero MotoCorp.