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Encroachers try to build wall in Raisina forest area in Gurgaon

Forest officials said there was a deliberate attempt to restart the construction of a wall in the area located 15km from Gurgaon.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 10, 2017 17:42 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Tree felling is rampant in Raisina forest area. As many as 60 trees were felled in Raisina forest area using a chain saw last January. (HT Photo)

Yet another attempt by the land mafia to encroach into the forest area in Raisina was reported on Friday.

Forest officials said there was a deliberate attempt to restart the construction of a wall in the area located 15km from the city.

Earlier, trees both big and small were cleared from the area located near the Ansal Retreat farmhouse of C-90 block.

The incidences of tree chopping were reported by HT last month, after which the forest department had asked the Bhondsi police to register an FIR.

The area falls under the natural conservation zone (NCZ) in which construction beyond a limit of 0.5 per cent is not permitted according to the National Capital Regional Plan 2021.

Also the land is protected under the Aravalli notification, which means that non-forestry activities are not allowed in the area without approval from the forest department.

“Anyone found violating the environmental norms can be prosecuted for seven years and also made to pay a penalty of ₹25,000,” the notification said.

When HT enquired about the incident to forest department, the official said that they got information about the incident and the ground staff is looking into the matter.

On January 18, the Bhondsi police had registered an FIR under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 33-32 (tree felling without permission) of the Indian Forest Act against unknown persons. No arrest has been made so far.

Villagers are of opinion that tree felling and construction of a boundary wall is being done by some owners of nearby farmhouses. Ahmed Ali, a villager, said, “No action is taken against the violators.”

Illegal tree felling is rampant in the area. Last June, around 60 trees were cleared from a one acre plot near Raising. A couple of before that, on April 14, a forest fire had destroyed the green cover in a 4km-radius of the area.

Sunil Harsana, green activist, said, “These incidences are repeatedly taking place in the same area, yet, the civic bodies are unable to nab the culprits.”

First Published: Feb 10, 2017 17:34 IST