Day on, Aravali Retreat denies violations.
Updated On, 15 April 2012:
GURGAON: A day after a demolition drive was carried out by the district administration and the pollution board at Ansal's Aravali Retreat, the members of Aravali Retreat Plot owner's Association (ARPAN) denied of any violation of the environmental laws including the Aravali notification dated May 7, 1992, which says a prior permission/clearance is required before any construction on the land recorded as Gair Mumkin Pahar.The members claimed the notification was not applicable to the plot owners because the land had been categorized as farmhouse in the revenue records of the state in 1990 itself. This happened because Ansal had developed Aravali Retreat with all the necessary permissions from the state - made it green, planted trees, sold plots as farmhouses, they added.
During a press conference on Sunday, Arvinder S Brara, acting president of the association, said the area did not come under Gair Mumkin pahar. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had also clarified the same in 2006 that the "land records maintained by the state government as on the date of notification were categorized as farmhouse i.e, not categorized in any of the categories" including Gair Mumkin pahar, Brara added.However, this has totally been ignored by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and they are unnecessarily harassing the plot owners, Brara said.
Plot owners, many of whom are senior citizens, alleged that the demolition seems to divert focus from the issue of illegal mining by punishing legal farm houseowners.They further said that Aravali Retreat was never considered a forest land as it was always privately- owned land. Under the controlled areas Act, change of land use (CLU) is required prior to any construction. While many plot owners and a school have been granted permission, others are still awaiting, said Brara.
The members alleged that the HSPCB's contention that constructions of boundary walls are illegal and permission was required for this is contradictory as plants and tress are at a risk of getting damaged without any protection from stray animals. Besides that, security of people is also at risk in absence of boundary walls.The members said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given stay orders to several owners against the criminal cases filed by the pollution board. The board carried out the demolition drive disregarding the order and without prior intimation to owners, they said.