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Forest official expresses concern over reducing Aravallis cover in urban Ggm

Forest official expresses concern over reducing Aravallis cover in urban Ggm

Gurugram: Spread around the area of 1,600 hectares, Aravallis in Gurugram has now been restricted to just 2 percent of the total area. Reported incidents of land grabbing, however, have again raised the fears that the forest area in the urban part may be shrinking further.

In a written complaint to Municipal Corporation of Gurugam (MCG), it was highlighted how nearly 50,000 slums have come up in the Aravallis around Ghata situated near the Gurugram-Faridabad road.

Several protests by the nearby residents finally resulted in the MCG issuing the notification to the slum dwellers for eviction. It is estimated that there are over 500 acres of Aravallis land that has been encroached. The recent action has been taken by the forest department against encroachers at Raisina forest where 150 acres of the area has been illegally most of which belong to a prominent builder.

"We are concerned about the protection of Aravallis and are taking steps to ensure that it does not get degraded. We are planning to use space technology to ensure to keep a check on encrochments," said Deepak Nanda the forest officer.

The state government has already passed the plan wherein 900 hectares of the Aravallis have been taken out from the protected area. The Forest Department is already embroiled in the legal cases relating to 500 acres of forest land. There are over 30 cases that are being heard in various courts on the encroachment of Aravallis.

The threat to Aravallis came to fore once again when the Ministry of Environment Forest and Environment Change (MoEF) in its report to National Green Tribunal (NGT) stated that 47 percent of natural forest zones in Haryana are lost Haryana has the dubious distinction having the second-lowest t forest cover in India.

The state's forest cover is a mere 3.59 per cent , mostly concentrated in the uncultivable hills of the Aravallis in the South and Shiwaliks in the northern parts.

In order to improve the forest cover, the forest department is planning to get in touch with villagers situated near the Aravallis.

With the co-operation of the villagers the government agencies plant to used the panchayat land for planting the trees and enhance the forest cover.

There have also been plans to grow new species of plants at the Aravallis.

Both of these plans continue to be delayed because of various challenges.

Piyush Ohrie

Piyush Ohrie

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