Gurgaon: Task force to watch Aravallis to be ready in 10 days
The bid to set up the task force follows concern voiced by environment activists over poaching and tree chopping in the Aravallisgurgaon Updated: Jan 13, 2018 22:50 IST
The city is set to get a 24-hour, toll free helpline for residents to call and seek information on the rescue of disstressed wildlife in the region. The helpline will be up and running by the end of this month.
The decision came a day after the state forest department received a letter from the Centre, seeking a status report on the formation of a task force to step up vigil in the Aravallis and curb poaching.
In response to the letter, the forest and wildlife department on Saturday conducted a joint meeting with the Haryana’s forest and wildlife minister Rao Narbir Singh in Gurgaon. It was decided at the meeting that the Aravalli task force will be operational within 10 days, forest officials said.
Also, to stop poaching and crack down on unauthorised tree chopping in the Aravallis, checkposts will be set up in the forests over the next one week. While 11 of these will be set up in Gurgaon, Mewat and Faridabad will get another 15 and 9 respectively.
Voicing concern over poaching and unauthorised tree felling in the Aravallis, a group of environment activists met Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan on December 29 and sought his intervention in checking such incidents.
On December 8, a peacock, with its legs caught in a metal trap, was spotted near the Tata Raisina Residency in the Aravallis.
The activists are also up in arms over alleged tree felling on a 52-acre plot in the Sarai Khawaja village of Fariadabad in a bid to free up space for a group housing project.
The forest department has also decided to use drones for keeping watch on Aravalli forests. “We have taken crucial decisions to save the Aravallis,” said Vinod Kumar, conservator of wildlife, south Haryana, said.
The forest department team also met a group of animal rights activists who had raised concern over poaching.
“We put forward our concern over these incidents and were assured of steps by the minister. He said that the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will be asked not to dump garbage in forest areas. He said new water pits will be dug for preservation of wildlife in the Aravallis,” Vashali Rana Chandra, an environment activist who met the minister along with a group of fellow activists, said.