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Action likely against 150 farmhouses built illegally on Aravalli land

FIR filed against Ansals; farmhouse built by changing nature of land

Gurugram: After the direction from the court, FIR has been filed against the builder Ansals. There are allegations that the builder along with various public officials changed the land use pattern of Aravallis and in turn, sold the land where the substantial number of farmhouses have come up. Action may be initaited against the owners of 150 farmhouses that have illegally come up in the green belt.

Investigation officer Praveen Kumar of Bhondsi police station said the case had been registered, and facts were being verified. In their process of investigation, law enforcement officials have already registered a case against the owner of one of the farmhouses.

The owner of a farmhouse at Aravali Retreat in Raisina has been booked after a complaint filed by the state pollution body alleged that it was built illegally, leading to "ecological imbalance" in the forest area. It has also been alleged that the farmhouse was built by changing nature of the land and endangering fragile ecology of the Aravalis in violation of a government notification issued in 1992.

The case was registered at Bhondsi police station on Sunday after the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) filed a complaint on the direction of a special environment court in Faridabad. Aravali Retreat is spread across a 1,200-acre land in Raisina village and has around 675 farmhouses.

The pollution board in its complaint stated that the 1,200-acre land is a revenue estate notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1900, and anyone found violating the provisions of the Act shall be liable for prosecution.

It was alleged the farmhouses were constructed on the land tagged as "gair mumkin Pahar" in revenue records in 1990. Later in 1991, in connivance with the revenue officials, the land category was allegedly changed from "gair mumkin Pahar" to residential plots in revenue records to circumvent the Aravali notification.

It has been alleged that the revenue record was forged in collusion with revenue officials and the nature of the land, from "gair mumkin Pahar" was changed to residential plots.

Kuldeep Kohli, the legal consultant of Aravali Retreat Raisina Welfare Association and owner of one of the farmhouses, said, "The approval from the DTCP was taken before the MoEF notification was issued. The work was done in accordance with the prevailing law. "The accused had willfully committed a grave violation of Aravali notification and degraded fragile ecology of the Aravalis by constructing a farmhouse and altering natural land after the notification of 1992 that prohibits non-forest activities," said an HSPCB official.

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