‘Pre­serve sanc­tity of the Mas­ter Plan’

There should be equal fo­cus on eco­log­i­cal and in­fra­struc­ture zones

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

Not just bird sanc­tu­ar­ies and wa­ter out­lets, un­scrupu­lous builders and au­thor­i­ties have not spared for­est land too. At least one-third of the Man­gar Bani for­est area lo­cated in Farid­abad district has been bought by builders. A de­vel­oper has pur­chased over 400 acres in the Aravalli hills of Man­gar vil­lage, an area clas­si­fied as ‘gair mumkin pa­har’ ( It was owned by the vil­lage pan­chayat in the 1960s and trans­ferred in the 1970s to sham­lat cat­e­gory of com­mon land, be­ing sub­se­quently pri­va­tised in the 1980s. A 2012 judg­ment by the Supreme Court has said that all sham­lat/pan­chayat lands should be trans­ferred back to the pan­chayat). The own­er­ship of the land, in that case, is it­self ques­tion­able, says a realty ex­pert.

The area is clas­si­fied as scrub for­est in the for­est cover map of the For­est Sur­vey of In­dia. The Re­gional Plan 2021 (is­sued in 2005) de­fines the area as ei­ther a for­est or waste­land, di­rect­ing that all waste­land be planted up to cre­ate forests. The tar­get for forests in Haryana is 20% and in the NCR part of Haryana, it is 10%. In each case, if the area is not a for­est it should be zoned for ex­pan­sion of for­est as per the re­gional plan. In case the town and coun­try plan­ning depart­ment of the state grants a li­cence to de­vel­op­ers to build in the demarcated zones, in­vestors will have to fend for them­selves if there are any chal­lenges to these per­mis­sions in the fu­ture.

Ex­perts say that the so­lu­tion is that in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors in these com­pa­nies/ projects should de­mand ‘good en­vi­ron­men­tal be­hav­iour’ from these real es­tate firms. They add that dis­cern­ing in­sti­tu­tional fi­nance will not be avail­able for projects which are built in the Nat­u­ral Con­ser­va­tion Zone (NCZ). How­ever, the Aravalli ar­eas can­not be ex­cluded from the NCZ . This is what has hap­pened in Gur­gaon re­cently. Re­gard­ing the Haryana sub-re­gional plan 2031, Haryana has ig­nored the di­rec­tions of the NCRPB and has stated that the Aravalli range within the ur­ban­is­able ar­eas (eg within GMUC 2031) will be ex­cluded from the NCZ. Ex­perts say that this is a bla­tant vi­o­la­tion of the cur­rent and the re­vised re­gional plan 2021.

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