A green bat­tle only half won

Small but sig­nif­i­cant steps have been taken for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, but a lot more needs to be done

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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