New Delhi: Haryana government on Friday told the National Green Tribunal that 20 farm houses and an under- construction factory have been demolished in anti-encroachment drives carried out in the Aravalli hills in the recent past.
The state government in its reply filed before the bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that demolition drive was carried out against unauthorized constructions within the controlled area in village Mangar in Faridabad and Gurgaon districts.
During the drive, seven farm houses and one under- construction factory, which had encroached government lands, were demolished in Manger area.
"However, entire area is under strict vigilance and no fresh construction is being allowed against the law," the state government said in its reply adding that apart from the Mangar area, strict vigil also being kept in Aravalli hills.
It said that in another anti-encroachment drive, 13 structures of farm houses were demolished and 41 acres of land restored in Gurgaon district in the Aravalli foothills.
The state government also said that show cause notices have been issued to 153 farm houses and legal action was being taken for raising construction without prior permission from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
The bench asked the petitioner Legal Aid Committee, National Green Tribunal Bar Association to file a reply to the affidavit of the Harayana government and posted the matter for further hearing on July 31.
The tribunal was hearing a petition filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal seeking directions to prevent construction activities in Aravallis including Mangarbani forest.
On May 10, the green panel sought responses from the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Urban Development and Delhi government within two weeks in the matter.
The plea alleged that discrepancies in grant of licence or change of land use in the Aravallis, which form part of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs) like forests, water bodies and waste lands in the National Capital Region.
The petitioner has also alleged that "under the protection of Haryana government, people are carrying out pucca and semi pucca constructions in the Aravallis forests".
Earlier, in an affidavit filed before the tribunal, National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) had submitted that the shrinkage NCZ in Haryana sub-region was 25.97 per cent, 15.43 per cent in NCT Delhi, 43.88 per cent in Uttar Pradesh sub-region and 11.18 per cent in Rajasthan sub-region.