As reported on February 14, 2020 the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has issued an order to Haryana Government to ensure that neither any construction nor any construction related activity should take place in the entire area of Aravalli Hills without the permission of SC constituted high-powered committee or the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.
The decision was given by a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha & Justice Arun Palli. They also recorded the undertaking of Haryana govt’s Forest Department ensuring that they will take all the steps so that no construction could take place in Aravallis without the permission of the committee or central ministry. The court also gave power to the state to take any actions against any illegal construction.
The HC also reprimanded the Haryana’s Government for their delay in notifying the natural conservation zones (NCZs). They also questioned the Haryana govt’s claim that the term Aravalli range/hills don’t even exist in the state records. They also claimed that the activities like agriculture, building, roads etc. were frequent for years in the area under the name of Gair Mumkin Pahar.
The PIL was filed by the resident of Gurgaon named as Harinder Dhingra seeking ban on the construction in Aravalli Hills. During the hearing, the bench said that “By the time we dispose of the petition, you make sure Aravalis are not there?”
In his petition, he said that a very large amount of land has been kept out of the category of natural conservation zone (NCZ) by the state government and also said that the government is trying to erase the forest cover. In this matter, the state government said that “even though the land is recorded as Gair Mumkin Pahar, any categorisation of these lands as Aravallis may not be practical & in accordance with ground realities as activities such as agriculture, roads, buildings etc are prevalent there for considerable time.”
Author- Aditi Dubey