Signature campaign initiated by environmentalists for recognition of Aravallis as forests

by chitrkunwar

Over 200 residents from different areas in Gurgaon gathered at Kachra Chowk crossings at Gurgaon-Faridabad road on Sunday holding placards and banner reading messages directed to the state government to protect Aravallis and Mangar Bani forests.

“Aravallis are threatened by rapidly growing real estate interests. We urge the state government to protect this zone and identity the remaining areas outside the Aravallis that need to be declare forests,” stated Chetan Aggarwal, noted Activist.

“Delhi has asola bhatti sanctuary and Rajasthan too has large protected areas in Aravallis like Sariska and Ranthambore. Haryana till date has no protected areas, a national park, Sanctuary or even a conservation reserve, ” he added.

Despite Supreme Court order, Haryana Government has not identified forest in the state that constitutes a forest cover of mere 3.5 percent. However, under the State Forest Policy 2006, the official target of forest and tree cover in Haryana is 20 percent.

Residents were given a brief overview of the significance of Aravalli forest by Aggarwal, Amina Sherwani, founder of Haryalli NGO Vivek kamboj and other dignitaries.

“Most builders and land sharks have made land banks inside the forests and are waiting to get their change of license approved by our government. Government must restore privatised Aravallis areas back to villagers ownership” underlined Kamboj.

The activists along with Gurgaon residents initiated a signature campaign to file petition under the court of law to recognise Aravallis as official forests.

Monday, 27 April 2015 – 7:29pm IST | Abhineet Panjwani | iamin .in

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