NGT puts on hold construction of road through Aravalli Range
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a private construction company not to go ahead with clearing a six hectare forested area of the Aravalli Range to build a road connecting some farmhouses in Gurugram district with the national highway 48.
An NGT bench, comprising judicial members Jawad Rahim and S P Wangdi and executive member Nagin Nanda, said the private company, which was carrying out the work on behalf of the Haryana Forest Department, has to first take permission from the tribunal before continuing with the project.
It also issued notice to the Centre, Haryana government and the private entity – Kaluwala Construction Company – asking them to show cause why the project should not be stopped and listed the matter for further hearing on April 17.
The order came on a plea by environment activist Daniel George, who has claimed that the “indiscriminate felling of trees and destruction of rocks” of the Aravalli range for building the three kilometer long road, would cause “irreversible destruction of the local flora and fauna”.
Appearing for George, advocate Jai Dehadrai said the reason for felling of these trees is for the construction of a road to facilitate easy access for some farmhouses located at Bas Pandala and Gairatpur Bas areas in Gurugram district to the NH-48.
The applicant has claimed that the constructions were being carried out without obtaining the prior approval as required under the Forest (Conservation) Act.
He has sought directions restraining the public works department of Haryana and the private company from continuing with the construction of the 3 km link-road, linking the Sakatpur Hill Junction on the NH-48 to the farmhouses.
The application has also urged the NGT to direct the Haryana government authorities to not permit cutting down of any more trees and to carry out compulsory afforestation in the said areas.
George, in his plea, has also sought punitive action against the authorities “for sanctioning, permitting, and initiating construction of the 3-km link-road”.