NGT notice to Centre, Haryana for constructing road in Aravallis
Gurugram, March 21 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre and the Haryana government for allegedly violating the law and damaging the Aravalli hills while constructing a road in the foothills, an activist said.
The NGT issued the notices on the complaint of Right to Information (RTI) activist Harendra Dhingra. Gurugram-based Dhingra approached the NGT on March 12 with a complaint that the Aravalli was badly damaged by the officials and contractors while building a 3.5 km stretch of road there.
“NGT issued notices to the Centre and Haryana government seeking reply as to why the road construction, from Shikohpur-Sakhtpur-Gairatpur (Bas) to Ansal Retreats in the Aravallis, for the benefit of farmhouses and Pathways World School, which is causing huge damage to mountain range and environment, should not be stopped altogether,” Dhingra told IANS.
The road was being built by taking in conditional principal permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).
“The above land falls under the deemed forest area and as per the MoEF notification of 1992, its permission is must,” said Dhingra.
The Haryana PWD applied for permission to build the road on December 27, 2017, got the conditional principal approval on January 27, and issued tender notices in between but awarded the tender to a Bhiwani-based construction company on February 2.
“The construction company, even before fulfilling the tender conditions, dug up the area of the Aravalli hills and completed more than 50 per cent work within a month, although in principle the approval did not allow them to put a single brick or dig an inch of land,” Dhingra added.
“The road-building exercise was carried out at the behest of Haryana PWD and Forest Minister Rao Narbir Singh. As of now, the Government assured us that the work would remain suspended till the next date of hearing, which is April 16,” he added.
When contacted for comment, Laxminarayan, the personal assistant to Singh told IANS, “The Minister is in Chandigarh hence he is not available for his views on the issue. I am not aware of any such notice.”