National Green Tribunal has directed the ministry of environment, forest and climate change and the forest department of Haryana to conduct a tree survey and create a database of trees and undergrowth in Mangar off the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway .
Mangar Bani, a grove in the area, is held sacred by locals. The report has to be sub mitted to the tribunal within eight weeks and may be crucial in giving this pristine patch of Aravalis a protected forest status.
Earlier, three real estate companies had filed an application with the revenue authorities to “correct“ the land records of Mangar from uncultivable land to agricultural.They had claimed that the companies were using the land in Mangar to cultivate wheat but NGT ordered a stay on their attempts to change the land use pattern. The firms had filed 90 applications with the Haryana revenue department to change the land use of several patches.
Last week, the tribunal pulled up the Haryana government for not filing an affidavit on the status of these forests.“Haryana was directed to file an affidavit to the effect that all the said lands, in which the land use has been changed as per revenue records, shall be retained as is in existence today as forest area till as per the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of T N Godaverman Thirumulpad vs Union of India & Ors appropriate decisions are taken in identifying the forest area. Yet no such affidavit has been placed on record,“ the bench said.
The petitioner, Col (retired) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi, asked for the independent study to place on record the actual status of forest cover in the area. “We do not see any reason as to why the plea should be denied to the applicant at this stage. In fact, this will bring on record the candid facts on the forest cover. We, therefore, direct the ministry of environment, forest and climate change and the forest department of Haryana to carry out an independent study , including tree survey , photography and videography , in khasra numbers mentioned,“ said the NGT order. The matter has been listed for July 7.
Apr 20 2015 : The Times of India (Delhi)