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The Haryana Forest Department conducted a demolition drive in the Gwalpahari area. JCBs were used to demolish six illegally built farmhouses.
The Supreme Court ordered Haryana to restore the Aravali forest and demolish structures that are subject to special orders under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Protection Act (PLPA). There is no non-forest activity permitted in the area.
“A total of six illegally built farmhouses were crushed in the first attempt, releasing 25 acres of forest land in the Gwalpahari area.” Last year, individual notices were sent to the owners of these illegal farmhouses. The owners had petitioned the district court, but their petition was denied. The forest officials were also eyeing to demolish more illegal structures again as needed.
How Many More Illegal Farmhouses Are Built On Aravali Land In Gwalpahari?
On July 21, the Supreme Court ruled in the Narinder Singh vs. Divesh Bhutani case that land covered by special orders issued under Section 4 of the PLPA should be treated as forests and subject to the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act.
Previously, in September 2021, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the governments of Haryana and Rajasthan to remove illegal construction in Aravalis. Both states have three months to submit their reports.
The strict action was taken while the court was hearing an appeal by Sonya Ghosh about illegal construction in the Aravali forest area by following Haryana districts (Faridabad, Nuh, and Gurgaon) and another Rajasthan district (Alwar).
According to a forest department survey, at least 500 farmhouses have been illegally built on Aravalis in Gurgaon, primarily in Gwalpahari, Gairatpur Bas, Sohna, Raisina, and Manesar. The NGT also received a detailed list of such illegal structures in the forest area.