NEW DELHI: NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) on Tuesday put its stamp on bringing all non-cultivable hill land, rocky and sandy areas in the ecologically sensitive Aravalis across NCR within the ambit of the mountain range. This decision paves the way for protection and conservation of Aravalis, which has been on the radar of real estate developers.
No non-forest activity is allowed in Aravalis without prior permission of environment and forest ministry, meaning there will be hardly any scope for real estate or other construction work in such areas. The decision was taken at the board meeting chaired by urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu and attended by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar besides representatives from Delhi and Rajasthan government.
However, what stumped many in the meeting was a request by a top Haryana government official reiterating the demand to remove restrictions on construction in Natural Conservation Zone (NCZ), which covers entire Aravali, lakes and water recharge zones. The Regional Plan of NCR, which has the consent of Haryana government, clearly treats the entire Aravalis as NCZ where construction is not allowed beyond 0.5% of the area.
The senior Haryana official raising the issue of doing away with this cap on construction shows how state bureaucracy is sticking to its demand of more construction in the ecologically fragile zone despite change of government. The earlier Bhupinder Singh Hooda government had unsuccessfully pushed for a similar course of action. Sources said Haryana officials want that allowing any construction activities in NCZ should be subject to approval from the environment ministry rather than having any overall limit on construction in such areas.
“The Board also clarified the position regarding demarcation of Aravalli range and delineation of NCZ. It said that the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1992 has clearly explained for districts of Gurgaon in Haryana and Alwar in Rajasthan for regulating certain processes and operations in specified areas of Aravali range and this notification would guide identification and delineation of Aravalis in the entire NCR,” an official statement from urban development ministry said.
Minister of state for urban development Rao Inderjit Singh said the curbs on construction in Aravalis and water recharge zones is essential for “sustainable development” of the NCR. “It becomes our responsibility to protect this area for future generation,” he told TOI.
Credits ET Realty