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NGT judgment on Aravalli housing project on Jan 24

The petitioner claimed that while the case is still in the tribunal, the builder has already started work on the housing project

gurgaon Updated: Jan 10, 2018 22:52 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
The petitioner claimed that the builder has started construction on the 52-acre plot at Sarai Khawaja in Faridabad.(HT PHOTO)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday said that it will review the status of the 52-acre plot at Sarai Khwaja village in Faridabad district, which has been earmarked for a housing project, on its next hearing on a petition on January 24. The plot in question is situated in the Aravalli area where curbs on unauthorised construction activities are in force.

The petitioner, Lt Col. (retd) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi, sought a stay order claiming that construction for the housing project is already under way.

The petitioner claimed in court that the builder started construction work after chopping and removing 1,530 trees from the area last month.He pleaded urgent steps to preserve the greenery in the area.

The petition before the NGT states that the area falls in the category of natural conservation zone (NCZ) under the Regional Plan 2021. As per the restrictions in force, construction should be limited to only 0.5% of the area and should only be for regional recreational activities. The prohibitions are aimed at conserving the environmentally- sensitive areas and ensure that construction is kept at a minimum.

The plea also stated that chopping of trees on the 52-acre plot in the Aravalli is a direct violation of environmental clearance conditions. The petitioner demanded that realty projects be kept out of the Aravalli gair mumkin pahar area or deemed forest land.

Read I Gurgaon: Filling of water pits in parched Aravalli forest underway

The petitioner said that while the matter is still in the tribunal, the builder has started work on the project.

“The Haryana government should put the project on hold till the court pronounces a verdict in the case,” Chetan Agarwal, an environment analyst, said.

Jitender Bhadana, an environmentalist, said, “It is surprising how commercial projects in forest area obtain clearances. It seems like a ploy to pave the way for real-estate firms to encroach into Aravalli forest.”

A spokesperson for Bharti Realty, the builder, said, “The company has all the necessary permission and clearance for construction on the said plot.”

In an earlier statement, the spokesperson had said, “It is a private land which has been granted a licence by DTCP (department of town and country planning) for the construction of a group housing colony. Environmental clearance for the said land has been granted and building plans have also been sanctioned.”

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 22:52 IST