Daler Mehndi fined after his helpers felled 150 trees in protected areas of Aravallis
Gurugram: Taking strict cognisance of massive tree felling in the protected areas of Aravallis, the South Haryana forest division has gone ahead and levied a huge fine on Daler Mehndi. The forest officials found that his helpers had chopped over 150 trees in Sanp Kni Nagli area at the Sohna Aravallis. The forest officials have also directed that the helpers must plant sapling around the area to compensate for the loss of massive tree cover.
It has been found that more than 400 trees were cut during the last two-three days to make way for a farmhouse. The land which comes under the purview of General Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) reportedly belongs to a well-known Punjabi singer.
Tree species, including neem (Azadirachta indica), papri (Holoptelea Integrifolia), ronjh (Acacia leucophloea) and vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora) have been felled. There is a cow shelter adjacent to the plot owned by the singer. The area is surrounded by hills that have thick vegetation of dhau (Anogeissus pendula). The hills have many seasonal waterfalls and a seasonal drain (known as barsati).
Locals said tree felling was started on Friday. "We were shocked. As many as 200 trees were removed on Friday itself. As the land is owned by a renowned singer, not many objected to tree felling. Forest department officials, however, visited the site and took about 200 logs into their custody," said a villager, requesting anonymity.
A forest official said the land falls under the purview of Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and the department issued a "damage report". "We have already issued a damage report for about Rs. 90,000 against the landowner for felling 196 trees. Also, we have directed the landowner to plant at least 10,000 trees in the area," said Deepak Nanda, district forest officer, Gurugram
A major reason why Aravallis is exploited and continues to be plundered by the real estate sharks in the city is the lack of delineation which prevents Aravallis in Gurugram to be called a forest area.