Aravalis: Activist approaches SC on farmhouses


Gurgaon: An environmentalist has approached the Supreme Court with an affidavit, seeking its intervention to put a stop to illegal construction on protected land in the hill ranges that, he argues, continues despite the court’s orders in the Khori case.
The Supreme Court had earlier this year ordered the demolition of all structures in Khori village, a settlement in Faridabad that came up over several years on by encroaching on protected Aravali land.
In the affidavit, Lt. Col. Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi (retired) has cited the instance of a farmhouse – this one in Faridabad as well, but in Ankhir – to argue that “illegal farmhouses are again booming in the Aravalis”.
“Multiple constructions on forest land in the form of banquet halls, farmhouses, commercial complexes, clubs, etc are being carried out in the Aravalis,” he contends.
The farmhouse Oberoi specifically mentions belongs to a former Haryana minister and is spread across 10.9 acres. “Photos dated 3.12.2021 show construction and rebuilding of the demolished wall of the farmhouse,” Oberoi claims.
The farmhouse is on land protected under sections 4 and 5 of the PLPA (Punjab Land Preservation Act). Its boundary wall was demolished by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) earlier this year.
The former minister told TOI his staff may have been raising the height of the boundary wall to keep leopards out, but no other construction had happened. “The guards may have been increasing the boundary wall’s height as they were scared about a leopard, which was seen in the area by locals. I have instructed them not to build anything. They might have just put a few bricks on the wall to protect themselves from the leopard. I am not constructing anything on that land. I am aware of the Supreme Court orders. Yes, the boundary was razed by MCF.”
In November, Oberoi had filed an interjection in the Supreme Court contesting the Haryana government’s claim in an affidavit that 40% of the state would have to be considered forest area if the court’s orders are to be strictly followed and would lead to large-scale demolitions, including in Faridabad and Gurgaon.
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