A National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench, comprising judicial members Jawad Rahim and SP Wangdi and executive member Nagin Nanda, said that a private company, which was clearing a six-hectare forested area of the Aravalli Range on behalf of the Haryana Forest Department, to build a road connecting some farmhouses in Gurugram district with NH-48, has to first take permission from the tribunal before continuing with the project. It also issued notices 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, 2018.
The order came on a plea by environment activist Daniel George, who 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 road, linking the Sakatpur Hill Junction on 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’.