HSPCB serves MCG notice over failure to prevent encroachment in Aravallis
Gurugram: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has served a show cause notice to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) after the latter allegedly failed to take action against encroachments and waste dump on Aravalli land near Ghata village. The notice warns the MCG that legal action will be initiated against it if the violations are not checked within 15 days.
“Garbage/junk plastic and construction waste is being dumped illegally at the site in question and has resulted in an open dump yard of at least 1 acre or maybe more. This... is not the result of random, stray incidents but is an organised, planned phenomenon happening over the last few months (and conveniently ignored and overlooked by MCG),” says the show cause notice dated September 13, a copy of which is with HT.
Earlier this month, the HSPCB and the MCG had instructed a gaushala in the Aravalli foothills, near Ghata village, to halt any construction work aimed at its expansion, and to stop dumping of solid and construction waste in the vicinity. Authorities acted on the matter after being alerted to it by a local environmentalist, who pointed out that the area in question is Aravalli land, recorded by the revenue department as ‘gair mumkin pahad’, rendering it a ‘deemed forest’ and a no-construction zone.
MCG joint commissioner, Hari Om Attri, said, “It is not true to say that no action has been taken by us. We have removed all the construction waste from the site, and within a week the structures will be demolished as well. We are taking the HSPCB’s order seriously.”
Sachin Narwal, assistant environmental engineer, HSPCB, confirmed that the gaushala’s activities were in violation of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981, Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1974, and the C&D Waste Management Rules 2016. Moreover, as the area has a wildlife presence, any non-forestry activity is also against the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
A comparison of satellite images taken between April 2014 and May 2019 shows that the expansion of the gaushala, over the years, has led to a significant loss of tree cover in the region. “At a time when the world is talking about mitigating the impact of emissions and preventing desertification, it is shocking to see that such a large expanse of green cover has simply vanished from the city, and that no action was taken for five years,” said Vaishali Rana Chandra, the activist who first alerted authorities to the issue.