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Tree felling going on unchecked in Mangar: Villagers

Villagers said that the forest guard is often away on weekends making it possible for violators to carry out non forest activities in Mangar Bani forest

gurgaon Updated: Feb 04, 2018 23:40 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,Gurugram news,trees
Villagers said a half-acre plot close to Mangar Bani is being fenced off by pitching poles and around 15 trees have been chopped. (HT PHOTO)

The police complaint filed by the forest department last week has failed to deter violators from continuing with unauthorised tree felling inside Mangar forest in the Aravallis, villagers have alleged.

Also known as the sacred grove, Mangar Bani comes within the ambit of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and no commercial or non-forest activity is allowed inside the forest. However, despite the prohibition, encroachers continue to make inroads into the forest, villagers claimed.

Som Yadav, a Mangar resident, said that a half acre area, close to the Mangar Bani forest, is being fenced off by pitching poles and as many as 15 trees have already been chopped in the process.

Villagers claimed that the forest guard deputed to keep watch on the forest is mostly away on weekends, clearing the decks for violators to carry out non-forest activities with impunity.

In 2013, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a directive stating that fencing will not be allowed in the Gair Mumkin Pahar (deemed forest) areas of Mangar Bani.

“Direct the respondents to withdraw the permission granted for Khasra No. 112//8/2, 9/1, Rakba 08 in Village Manger, district Faridabad, Haryana state. Direct the respondent not to grant any such permission in future. Direct the respondent to do the survey of all non-forest activity on non-forest area. Direct the respondents to restore area to natural state (sic),” the NGT order stated.

Haryali, an NGO, had moved a petition with the NGT claiming that the Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Faridabad, had allowed fencing and construction of a Damp Proof Course (DPC) on a one acre plot —Khasra No. 112/8/2/,9/1 rakba 8 — in Mangar.

Read I Gurgaon lost five times more trees this year

The petitioner claimed that the area in question is classified as ‘Gair Mumkin Pahar’ in revenue records and has been identified as a recharge zone for groundwater by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). It is also considered as a habitat for the wildlife in the Aravallis.

The petitioner said that such non forest activities not only poses a risk to the wildlife inhabiting the Aravallis, but could also result in the fragmentation of the forest.

Forest department officials said that they are looking into the matter. “We will visit the area and file a damage report,” D Hembram, conservator of forest, South Haryana, said.

Trees in chopping block

January 19, 2017- As many as 60 trees chopped in Raisina forest area, 15 kilometres from Gurgaon

February 20 , 2017 - 200 trees axed in Mangar Bani.

March 27, 2017 - As many as 2,000 trees felled in Chauma village in Sector 111, around 15km away from Gurgaon

June 21, 2017 - More than 10,000 trees chopped over a 52-acre area at Sarai Khajwa village in Faridabad district. The trees were felled to free up space for a group housing project

July 20, 2017 - Around 100 trees chopped over a 3-acre plot in Anangpur, Faridabad

November 18, 2017- Around 60 trees felled on a two acre area near Mangar

November 21, 22, 2017- Six hundred trees chopped over a 52-acre plot in Faridabad’s Sarai Khawaja

December 24, 2017- Around 100 trees chopped and cleared from a 2-acre area close to Mangar Bani

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 23:39 IST