GURUGRAM: No action has been taken against 195 farmhouses in Raisina hills of Aravalis, even though the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) sent demolition notices to them two months ago, giving a three-day period to respond to it.

The authorities were supposed to remove illegal structures after the notice was issued. Meanwhile, illegal construction work is being carried out in the area.

According to the regional office of HSPCB, it is waiting for orders from Chandigarh before going ahead with any action.

“We are still waiting for the order,” said an official of HSPCB. The land falls under ‘gair mumkin pahar’ category. According to the Union environment ministry’s Aravali notification, ‘gair mumkin pahar’ is protected land where construction of buildings, roads, electrification and cutting of trees are not allowed.

The committee, which was formed in July 2019, was supposed to be set up in October 2018 to identify the status of land. Its report in June had pointed out violations by 195 farmhouses. After that, the notices were served to the farm houses.

TOI had reported on July 17 that construction at two sites in the Aravalli Rretreat was carried out after removing vegetation on the land. Trees have also been felled to widen a pathway.

This started when NGT in 2003 took notice of TOI article on Aravalis of Gurgaon and Faridabad. The tribunal had taken it as a suo motu case, and then it was turned into Sonya Ghosh Vs. State of Haryana in the same year. The judgment came in 2018 in the case. As per the order, it was stated that “construction on forest land or area covered by Aravali Notification is illegal, and such forest land has to be restored. In view of the above, any construction raised on the forest area or the area otherwise covered by Notification dated 07.05.1992 without permission of the competent authority (after the date of the said Notification) has to be treated as illegal and such forest land has to be restored…”

Environmentalists pointed out that the action in this case has been delayed. “A district-level committee was supposed to be set up after the NGT issued an order in October 2018 for restoring the forest cover, but it took more than eight months to form the panel and still construction is under way in the area. No demolition drive has been carried out in the area so far,” said Vivek Kamboj, an environmentalist.



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