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Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

Even Manesar forest not spared

Even Manesar forest not spared
a file photo of Aravali forest

Sumedha Sharma

While over two years 15,000 trees were axed in Gurugram that too for unplanned infrastructure expansion, over 16,000 fully grown trees on 57 acres of forestland in Manesar were chopped off between 2011 and 2013 to set up police lines. The startling revelation was made by the Forest Department in response to an RTI application. It also stated that the requisite permission from the department had not been taken for acquisition or conversion of land use till date.

According to the response to the RTI application of former Manesar sarpanch Ram Avtar Yadav, the Manesar Police Lines was built on the land that is recorded as “Gair mumkin pahar” and “Banjad kadim”, with 8 to 10 acres falling under “Aravali plantation” that was carried out by the Forest Department during 1990 to 2000 with the help of funds provided by the European Union (EU). As per the gazette notification of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, all types of development and construction without permission are fully restricted in this land.

“The authorities themselves are involved in land grabbing in this case. Till date, there is no CLU permission for construction in the Forest Department records and nobody has for all these years questioned the loss of over 15,000 fully-grown trees. They have marked an inquiry but will it bring back the lost green cover? Also, the area had a big pond which was encroached upon for construction work. All this has been grabbed by the Haryana Government,” says Yadav, who has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), seeking strict action against the guilty.

In his letter to the PMO, Yadav has demanded an immediate probe, removal of construction and revival of the protected forestland. “It’s requested that the matter be inquired... the illegal development or construction in the Aravali forest be removed and action (should) be taken against officials involved in these illegal activities… the area (should) be redeveloped as the Aravali forest,” reads the letter.


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