Gurgaon: NGT stops road laying work in Aravallis
Six hectares of forests would have been cleared to lay the 3km stretch for connecting farmhouses to NH-48gurgaon Updated: Mar 19, 2018 23:20 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a private construction company to not proceed with clearing six hectares of forested area in the Aravalli range for a road connecting several farmhouses in the Gurgaon district with the National Highway-48 (NH-48).
Thousands of trees would have been axed to construct the three-kilometre link road from the junction at Sakatpur Hill on NH-48 to various farmhouses in Bas Pandala and Gairatpur Bas areas near Badshahpur.
“Prima facie, the case is about the destruction of Aravalli. The private company shall not proceed with the work (of laying the road) except under permission or direction from this tribunal,” read the order pronounced on Friday.
An NGT bench, comprising judicial members Jawad Rahim and SP Wangdi and executive member Nagin Nanda, said the private company has to first take permission from the green tribunal before continuing with the project of constructing the road in the area.
The tribunal also issued a notice to the Central government, the Haryana government and the private company asking them to clarify why the project should not be stopped.
The NGT has listed the matter for further hearing on April 17.
“I am concerned about the indiscriminate felling of trees, destruction of rocks and irreversible destruction to the local flora and fauna being occasioned in the Aravalli ranges, situated in the Gurgaon district,” said Daniel George, an environmental activist, who had filed the petition.
“It is verily believed that the link road has only been constructed to facilitate easy access of the farmhouses on the NH-48 and, thus, caused irreversible harm to the area which is millions of years old,” said George.
In his plea, the petitioner said that under the garb of so-called sustainable development, the construction company has ignored the inviolable concept of intergenerational equity and as a result of wanton destruction of the Aravalli range, has also damaged the habitat of the local flora and fauna.
The plea further states that the construction only hastened the spread of destruction of the hill face, shall lead to drastic soil erosion and, thereafter, add dramatically to the problem of dust storms and enhanced levels of suspended particulate matter in the entire national capital region.
He also argued that the construction is being carried out without obtaining prior approval as mandated under Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Moreover, provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1990, and Section 9 of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, as applicable to Gurgaon, have not been followed.
On December 29, Hindustan Times had reported about the illegal construction of another road and a wall in the Aravalli areas of Gurgaon and Faridabad divisions—along the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway near Bandhwari village. The area from where the illegal construction was reported comes under sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab and Haryana Land Protection Act (PLPA), 1990.
There were signs of fresh construction in the Aravalli hills along the road.