Aravalis encroached in Gurugram, department yet to act against squatters

Aravalis encroached in Gurugram, department yet to act against squatters


GURUGRAM: The law which is meant to protect Aravalis from fragmentation activities and encroachments is being rampantly abused in Sector 54 forestland near Golf Course Road. However, the forest department is yet to take action against the squatters.
Even as the forest department was informed about the illegal activities, it is yet to remove encroachments, snap unauthorised power connections and seal illegal borewells installed by Kholi-waale Baba temple to extract groundwater in Haidarpur Viran.
Upon visiting the site, TOI noticed levelling of a plot for construction of parking space and concretisation of a road which is in the middle of Aravalis. At present, the area is covered under sections 4 and 5 of PLPA. This is also an Aravali plantation area where construction is banned. Though the forest department had filed a damage report in this case, no further action was initiated yet.
The concrete road is a 1km stretch that starts from Gurugram-Faridabad Road and links it with Suncity Township in Sector-54. The road has become a thoroughfare for most people in the sector. Now the road witnesses a huge vehicular movement and also has streetlights which disturb the wildlife in the forestland. The department has been receiving complaints from several residents and activists on the issue.
“Not only tree-felling and encroachments, plastic plates and glasses used for gatherings are dumped in the forest, posing threat to the ecologically sensitive area. The waste littered in the forestland by those who visit the temple is not cleaned regularly as MCG claims that the area is outside its jurisdiction. We have the footage of nilgais and peacocks feeding on plastic waste. Either the dumped plastic waste is burnt by those manage the temple or it is choking the drains of the temple. This is a big concern as it is harming the environment,” said Vaishali Rana, an environmental activist.
Residents of Suncity raised fears, pointing out that the temple, which was a small hut a few years ago, now encroaches on a large chunk of the Aravalis. “We have witnessed levelling of Aravali land to set up a parking lot. The area also has a mobile tower and streelights which will have adverse impacts on the wildlife. This also violates law,” said VMK Singh, a resident of Suncity Township.
A forest department official said they had filed a damage report on February 3 on the matter. “We are looking into the case. The investigation is still on,” said Jai Kumar, district forest officer, Gurugram.





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