Aravalli Biodiversity Park too falls prey to encroachment

Aravalli Biodiversity Park too falls prey to encroachment
Gurugram: Widespread encroachments in the Aravllis have been a major concern for citizens of Gurugram. However, a more pressing issue is the lack of action taken by authorities against encroachers, who have not even spared land just 500 metres away from the national Capital.
The adverse impact of encroachments was recently felt when a massive fire engulfed the slums in the Aravallis.
Illegal encroachments have also been reported in the Biodiversity park.
For a city where green spaces are becoming far and few, the 600 acre Aravalli Biodiversity Park is only a stone's throw away from Delhi and is a unique initiative of public private partnership (PPP). Over 14 multinational companies in Gurugram had funded the project.
However, more than seven years after its conceptualisation, the maintenance of the Park is falling apart. Since 2010, no plantations have been initiated by Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and the responsibility has been given to a private organisation.
In addition to complaints of falling levels of greenery, citizens have also shared grievances shared of broken footpaths and seats at the Park.
The opportunity of developing the park into a popular tourist spot has further taken a jolt as various forms of entertainment zones and restaurants that were initially planned to having near the Park have not yet come up.
The project, seen to be the beginning of a successful PPP in the city, is now on the verge of collapse. Certain councillors of MCG have stated that the agency plans to completely take over maintenance of the park.
Meanwhile, residents who view the park as one last resorts of greenery in Gurugram highlight that lack of development of the Park will be concrete proof of land mafia taking over.
"We know about the situation of the Aravallis in the city and the state. Before 2008, this 600 acre area was a barren land, till the MNCs in the city came along and funded the project of planting exotic species of trees in the area. What could have been a perfect opportunity to enhance greenery has been wasted due to public apathy," said Ritu Narang, a resident.
Piyush Ohrie

Piyush Ohrie

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