Revenue department’s verification of areas marked as NCZ starts, ET RealEstate

June 24, 2023

NEW DELHI: To ensure that the city’s natural conservation zones do not fall prey to encroachment or concretisation, the Delhi government has started a “ground truthing” exercise.

The revenue department has been tasked with the physical verification of areas earmarked as natural conservation zones. Officials said Delhi has 154 such areas and once the physical verification is complete, these will be included in the sub-regional plan of 2021.

Natural conservation zones (NCZs) are environmentally sensitive green areas with rich flora and fauna that cannot be tinkered with. These zones comprise mountains and hills, rivers and water bodies which are notified for conservation under central or state laws and recognised as such in land records.

Currently, almost the entire Aravali range in the capital, areas along the Yamuna, the city’s ridge, and several areas in south, west and northwest Delhi qualify to be NCZs, where construction is not allowed beyond 0.5% of the area and that too only after getting prior approval from the Centre.

According to officials, the issue of ground truthing of the city’s 154 NCZs was discussed at the sixth state-level steering committee meeting held to review the implementation of policies and proposals of the NCR Planning Board. Chief secretary Naresh Kumar has issued instructions to the revenue and urban development departments to complete the exercise soon.

“The exercise will help in identification of any kind of encroachment that might have taken place in NCZ areas. Earlier, some unauthorised colonies came up on forest land. The government is being careful so that it does not happen again,” said an official.

Officials said that Geospatial Delhi Limited (GSDL), which maintains and updates spatial data through mapping and surveys, has already handed over the district-wise maps of all NCZs to the revenue department for physical verification of land. Initially, the records of 2005 were to be used for the exercise, but officials said the GSDL informed them that images of 2019 were now being used for ground truthing.

“Since some parts of land fall under the domain of the DDA, the revenue department was told to share records with it,” said an official.

Once the exercise is complete, GSDL will have to prepare colour-coded maps for the purpose of keeping records.

  • Published On Jun 24, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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