Ground truthing to identify forest areas to start from Rewari district | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Ground truthing to identify forest areas to start from Rewari district

The state government will use satellite images from 2011, revenue and forest records for evaluating forest areas as defined under the Punjab Land Preservation Act in Haryana

gurgaon Updated: Jan 16, 2018 23:06 IST
Ipsita Pati
Areas confirmed as forest under the Punjab Land Preservation Act will help check rampant illegal construction going on in the Aravallis in south Haryana.
Areas confirmed as forest under the Punjab Land Preservation Act will help check rampant illegal construction going on in the Aravallis in south Haryana.

The ground truthing activity, to identify forest areas as defined under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), will be conducted using forest and revenue records.

First such exercise will start in Rewari district, followed by other districts, as decided by the Haryana government in a meeting in Chandigarh on Monday, which was held to examine the status of land under the PLPA.

However, it is unclear when the ground truthing exercise will start.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) asking the state, in November last year, to prepare a report on status of forest areas in Haryana.

According to officials in the Haryana government who are in the know, help will also taken from the satellite images from 2011 for evaluating PLPA areas in the state.

“Examination of the forest areas will start soon,” TL Satyaprakash, director of town and country planning, who was also present in the meeting, said.

Meanwhile, the forest department officials said that to examine the PLPA areas, forest records will also be taken into consideration.

“We discussed all possible parameters and we are yet to draw a conclusion. Soon we will be able to wrap up things,” SN Roy, principal secretary to government of Haryana, Forest & Wildlife, said.

Examination of areas under PLPA as confirmed forest areas will bring clarity on the area of land under the Aravallis that can be defined as forest.

About 1,00,000 hectares of land falls under the Aravallis in southern Haryana.

More than 25,000 hectares is identified as forest under sections 4 and 5 of the PLPA.

Around 62,000 hectares have been identified as natural conservation zone, while another 12,800 hectares in the hills have been put under the ‘yet to be decided’ category.

What is the PLPA?

  • The Punjab Land Preservation Act of 1900 was passed for the purpose of soil conservation and to preserve sub-soil water
  • It empowers the state to notify areas under sections 3, 4 and 5 of and restrict activities such as cutting of trees, breaking land for agriculture, quarrying stone, grazing and pasturing of cattle and collection of forest produce
  • This Act has been used primarily to restrict land use change in Aravalli hills in south Haryana and the Shivaliks in north Haryana
  • More than half of the Aravallis in Gurgaon and Faridabad are notified under sections 4/5
  • These are the only Aravalli areas with a forest tag. The rest of the Aravallis are not recognised as forest by the state government.