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Google, Unitech officials called for hearing by Gurugram civic body over damage to green belt

Representatives of the two companies will have to explain in what capacity they felled trees and destroyed the green belt without permission from the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority for an access road between the Google office and the National Highway 48.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 03, 2018 12:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Google India,Unitech,GMDA
GMDA authorities have called representatives of Google India Pvt Ltd and realty firm Unitech for a hearing over the issue of destruction of the green belt outside the Google office. (Parveen Kumar/ HT Photo )

Gurugram

A week after the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) sent a show-cause notice to Google India Limited and Unitech Limited for damaging a green belt outside the Google office, the authority has called officials of the two companies for a personal hearing.

The hearing will take place at GMDA office in Sector 34 on July 3. Representatives of the two companies will have to explain in what capacity they felled trees and destroyed the green belt without permission from the GMDA for an access road between the Google office and the National Highway 48.

MD Sinha, GMDA’s additional chief executive officer of urban environment said, “GMDA is the custodian authority of the greenbelt in question and it has not issued any permission for felling trees and destroying greenery for access. The agency took prompt action soon after it received a complaint of felling of trees and digging in green belt in question on June 27. We have called them for an explanation.”

In May, the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), earlier known as Huda, transferred the green belt and all master roads of the city to the GMDA, which was established on August 15, 2017, as an apex developmental authority of the district.

Unitech is the owner-and-licencee of the building which has been rented out to Google in Sector 15 Part-2, opposite Star Mall and adjoining 32 Milestone, along NH-48. Unitech already has an access road for the said building with the NH-48, hardly 50 feet away from the existing access. It also got an additional access permission from the HSVP in January this year.

Unitech started constructing the road (9 metre access), as per the HSVP permission, about 10 days back when it came to the notice of the GMDA, which withdrew the permission on June 29 and work was stopped.

“We will examine the permission order that we doubt was granted as per the rules. Since, the greenbelt belongs to the GMDA only it can grant permission in such a case and tree felling permission has to be obtained from the forest department mandatorily,” Sinha said.

When asked, a Unitech spokesperson said, “We got due approvals for the same from HSVP and the NHAI. We have not committed any wrong and we will comply with the GMDA rules.”

A spokesperson of Google India, said, “Google does not have any role in this regard.”

Naresh Kataria, forest range officer, said, “We have not granted any permission of felling trees in this connection.”

First Published: Jul 03, 2018 12:27 IST