Activists say move contrary to decisions taken at board meetings
The Haryana government has advised the district committees for ground-truthing of National Conservation Zone in the districts falling in the National Capital Region to not consider “gair mumkin pahar” (uncultivable land), outside Old Gurugram district, as Aravalis.
This, said the environmentalists, was contrary to decisions taken at NCR Planning board meetings and would wrongly benefit the real estate players and farmhouse owners, especially in Faridabad.
In a State-level meeting held last month under the chairmanship of A.K. Singh, Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning Department, regarding ground-truthing of NCZ in Haryana Sub-Region of the NCR, the district-level sub-committees, comprising Deputy Commissioners, among others, have been advised to identify the Aravali strictly as per the 1992 Aravali notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, thus, effectively keeping “gair mumkin pahar” outside the National Conservation Zone.
In the meeting, a reference was made to a meeting under the chairmanship of then Chief Secretary on March 3, 2017, wherein it was said “only ‘specified areas’ in old Gurugram existing on May 7, 1992, may be part of “confirmed NCZ” by virtue of being Aravali and such areas of other districts may be excluded from the NCZ category”. Lt. Col (retd.) Sarvadaman Oberoi, an environmentalist, said the move would effectively mean that “ghar mumkin pahar” outside old Gurugram would not be considered Aravali and would be open for real estate activity. “A special meeting of the NCR Planning Board on December 20, 2016, had decided that ‘specified areas’ under Aravali 1992 notification be included while identifying Aravalis in NCR making it clear that ‘gair mumkin pahar, rada, beher’ fall under NCZ, and it was reiterated in 37th NCR Planning Board meeting in December, 2017, but the Haryana government, in its recent SLC meeting, has again made an attempt to keep these areas out of the NCZ by asking the DLSCs to consider the notification only for Old Gurugram. It is yet another blatant attempt by the State government to take away the protection to the Aravalis and serve the interests of real estate players in the state, especially Faridabad,” said Mr. Oberoi. He added that all the farmhouses in Faridabad Aravali were in violation of the NCZ regulations, which limit construction to 0.5% of the total area of the plot and they would benefit from it. A message and phone call to Mr. Singh to seek his reaction did not elicit any response.
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