Illegal Construction Still Rampant In Raisina Aravalis, No Action Yet, ET RealEstate

September 28, 2023

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

GURUGRAM: Construction is still under way in the protected Raisina hills of the Aravalis, despite orders by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to remove illegal structures from forest areas.

A visit by TOI to the site on Wednesday showed that construction of new boundary walls is under way at several sites. Land is being cleared and borewells are being dug up. These constructions are prohibited under the Aravali Notification of 1992, which bars construction of buildings and infrastructure and felling of trees without permission in protected areas.

This area is close to Ansal Aravali Retreat, where illegal construction is still going on despite multiple rulings by NGT. But with no action taken by the district administration to remove the earlier illegal structures, new plots and boundary walls have come up, land has been levelled and areas have been fenced off in the Aravalis.

Residents said construction is going on in around five-six plots and several borewells are being dug up in the area. Roads are also being laid. “Land prices have gone up recently and many prospective buyers are visiting the area every day. We are getting half a dozen potential buyers these days after the recent amendments in the forest conservation norms,” said Kamlesh Vir, a local.

“There is no dispute that the Aravalis in Sohna’s Raisina is being encroached on. Even after several court orders, the area has not yet been restored by the district administration. We still hope that action will be taken soon,” said Col SS Oberoi (retd), an environmentalist.

In December last year, NGT had directed the Haryana and Rajasthan governments to set up a monitoring committee to regularly review the progress made in removing encroachments and illegal construction from protected Aravali areas in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Nuh and Alwar.

Before that, in 2018, NGT had ordered that all of the protected Aravalis in Gurgaon and Faridabad be restored. Though the Gurgaon district committee sent show-cause notices to property owners in 2020, areas under the Aravali Notification are yet to be restored as forest.

In 2021, around 30 structures were flattened by the Sohna Municipal Council in the region. In 2019, about 195 show-cause notices were issued to farmhouse owners for unauthorised construction in the Aravalis, most of which were located at the Ansals Aravali Retreat.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav told TOI that the district administration will look into the situation. “We will get it examined. We will also hold a meeting on Friday in which I will evaluate the progress in the Raisina case,” he said.

  • Published On Sep 28, 2023 at 09:44 AM IST

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