The government’s decision is the result of protests and unrest by nature lovers, environmentalists and activists in Haryana.
‘According to the government plan, local plants and wildlife will be assessed first. Later, native seedlings will be planted and the area will be fenced and protected. In addition, the government aims to create a team for the care and protection of plants. The water sources will be restored or rehabilitated for wildlife. The decision is to rely on groundwater sources for this. Recommendations and assessments from Forest Department officials have been sent to the Chief Conservator of Forests in Haryana for approval. A detailed project report will be prepared after approval. ‘- Rajeev Tajyan, Gurugram division forestry officer, quoted the Times of India.
Perishable Aravalli Forest
Population growth and urbanization are destroying the Aravalli forest. The area has shrunk since the 1990s due to illegal construction, deforestation, and mining.
In addition, the construction of roads through forest areas has obscured the natural habitat. During the last ten years, many wild animals have died in the area due to vehicle collisions. It was also a common sight to see animals attacking humans, including leopards, during the same period. It is true of the Aravalli region that when man destroys wildlife habitat, he will reach an inhabited area.
A survey conducted by the WWF-India-India Center for Ecology, Development and Research and the World Wildlife Fund in 2019 and 2020 found that there are many mammals in the Gurugram and Aravalli areas that are not safe. There are also said to be more mammals in the Gurugram area than in the Azolla Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Delhi, which is part of the Aravalli Hills and is famous for.
Striped donkeys, leopards, a variety of rabbits, porcupines and small Indian bears are some of the animals that enrich the forests of Gurugram. In addition, the area includes many hills and rocks covered with deciduous forests and lush green forests.
Illegal construction in Aravalli
The Haryana State Information Commission has asked the Revenue Department to form committees headed by officials from the Faridabad and Gurugram districts to find out the ownership of 60 cottages in the Aravalli areas.
The SIC (state information commission) has issued an investigation order under the RTI submitted by Ashok Khemka, an IAS officer in Haryana, seeking information on illegal construction in the forest area. The SIC order follows the Supreme Court’s order to remove all illegal structures on forest land.
Meanwhile, various media outlets had reported that construction work was still being carried out on the protected Aravalli hills despite the order of the Supreme Court and the National Green Court (NGT).
In many parts of Aravalli, cutting down trees, demarcation of walls, and building farms are common places. These were banned by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in a 1992 Aravalli notification.
In August, the Gurugram government had ordered a survey of all forest areas and area surveillance using drones to measure the extent of illegal construction in protected areas following the observation of illegal construction in the Aravalli region. After compiling a list of buildings and other structures built in and around the forest area based on the survey, the Forest Department will examine the documents and identify irregularities and take action.
Environmentalists and Gulgram citizens say no to deforestation and deforestation. Three years ago, the government had planned to cut down about 1,400 trees to build an overpass and auditorium as part of the road development at Atul Kataria Chowk in Gurugram. On July 14, 2018, people took to the streets to protest against this. The protesters argued that there was no need for an overpass in the area and that existing road traffic should be facilitated.
“The lungs of this city are so big that a road and development in front of it is not worth it.” “I don’t remember what it was like to breathe fresh air.” The protesters chanted slogans such as “Dow”, “Salai”, “Dhok” and “Babul” under the trees.
However, Rao Narbir Singh, the then Minister of State for Forests and PWD in Haryana, told protesters that a wide road should be built to ease the traffic jams and that more trees could be planted to replace the lost ones.
In Haryana, a small state, most of the land is used for agriculture. The forest area is low here. (The forest cover in Haryana is 1,588 square kilometers, which is only 3.59% nationally.)