Illegal construction reported near Sultanpur National Park

Environmentalists have written to the forest department regarding illegal construction going on within five kilometres of Sultanpur National Park, Farrukhnagar. They say that no action has been taken in this regard.
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Updated on May 25, 2015 12:14 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySnehil Sinha, Gurgaon

Illegal construction has been going on within five kilometres of Sultanpur National Park, Farrukhnagar. It is the only eco-sensitive zone earmarked by the state government in southern Haryana which has recorded sighting of over 250 bird species. Any non- forest activity within five kilometres of it is illegal.

Environmentalists said that despite filing complaints and writting letters, construction activity is going on in full swing and no action has been taken in this regard.

Vivek Kamboj, founder of NGO Haryali, who wrote the letter said,"The construction is by private individuals, proceeding at rapid pace and is within the 500 metres radius which prohibits construction activity. In some cases, it is in full view of the National Park entrance or in continuous areas of which the Park authorities are well aware.”

He added,“Repeated attempts to lodge complaints and stop this activity which will completely destroy this National Park, which is a collective legacy of the country, have been in vain."

Forest officials have confirmed that violations have come to their notice in the past few months. Sources in the department said that a Google study was conducted recently to check the status of the Sultanpur eco-sensitive zone in 2014. 25- 30 cases of violations have been recorded that will be reported soon.

MD Sinha, conservator of forest, Gurgaon has written to the senior town planner seeking details of Change in Land Use (CLU) licences granted in the past five years in the area and how they have been granted.

The letter was sent to the senior town planner a year and a half ago. There was a reminder sent last month to get details of CLUs near Sultanpur National Park. However, no response has been received in nearly two years.

This area was declared an eco-sensitive zone by Haryana in 2010 by the eco- sensitive zone Sulatnpur notification. This means the land cannot be changed for any purpose from green to non-green. The order also says that the park and an area of 5km around it can only be used for forest and agriculture-related purposes. anything.

The Sultanpur National Park is known for its migratory birds. The park has three large watch towers specially erected for a panoramic view of the birds. The park, on the Gurgaon- Farukh Nagar Road, is 15km from Gurgaon and 50km from Delhi.

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