A green battle only half won
Small but significant steps have been taken for environmental protection, but a lot more needs to be done
People tired of battling errant developers who flout environmental norms (build projects without green clearance or acquire land to build projects near protected forest land or wildlife sanctuaries) have reasons to cheer.
Last month, the Supreme Court termed the construction of housing projects without environment clearance as illegal. The apex court reprimanded builders, saying, “you cannot merrily construct without getting the environment clearances. Any stay will only perpetuate this illegality. At the threshold this is a doubleedged weapon. You are misleading people, seducing them to buy such flats on one hand and on the other destroying the environment.”
Three days ago, the Haryana government approved the forest department’s exercise outlining nearly 2,000 acres in and around Mangarbani located in the Aravallis in Faridabad as protected area. This demarcation means there’s now a ban on construction in and around the area, ending the 20-yearold long battle for protection of the forests as, along with the Aravallis, these play an important role in the recharge of ground water.