Author Archives: toxicslink

Governmentt, NHAI resolve differences over highway

Source : The Times of India, Dec 23, 2013 URL : JAIPUR: Finally, after being at loggerheads for several months on various issues regarding widening of Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of national highway (NH-8), the state government and National Highways Authority … Continue reading

Unable to remove Asaram’s illegal ashram on ridge: govt to green court

Source :Hindustan Times (Delhi), 17 Dec 2013 URL  : Ridge board and forest dept say eviction efforts that started eight years ago have failed. Self-styled godman Asaram’s men have encroached upon a large chunk of protected forest land in Delhi’s … Continue reading


Source :Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 20, 2013 URL : NEW DELHI: An area as big as the entire south-central ridge in Delhi, totalling 629.51 hectares of forest land, is under encroachment, the ministry of environment and forests has … Continue reading

Delhi Government wants Chattarpur hospital on the ridge for ‘serene’ look

Source :Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2013 URL : In a strange argument, the Delhi government has said construction of a hospital on the ridge at Chattarpur in South Delhi, adjacent to a water body, will make the … Continue reading

Ridge body sitting on cash pile, ignores conservation

Source :Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 03, 2013 URL : If it wasn’t bad enough that the Ridge Management Board or RMB has permitted development worth `1,540 crore on the Ridge over the past two years, HT has learned … Continue reading

Amicus curiae to file petition against Delhi govt plan to build hospital in ridge forest

  Source :Hindustan Times,New Delhi, September 30, 2013 URl: The National Green Tribunal on Monday asked amicus curiae Raj Panjwani, who assists courts in conservation issues, to file a petition against Delhi government’s failure to protect the Ridge forest, known … Continue reading

Fight for a forest

Source : Ravi Agarwal From where comes this greenery and flowers? What makes the clouds and the air?                            – Mirza Ghalib THE battle for protecting Delhi’s green lungs, its prehistoric urban forest, has never been more intense than now. The … Continue reading

Green tribunal stays order on road construction in Delhi’s only wildlife sanctuary

Source : Hindustan Times New Delhi, September 04, 2013 The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday ordered an interim stay on a road stretch proposed to be constructed in the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Delhi’s southern Ridge. The environment … Continue reading

Ridge under threat from own guardians

Source : Hindustan Times New Delhi, September 10, 2013 When it was formed in 1995, the Ridge Management Board (RMB) was given the sole responsibility of preserving ‘in its entirety’ Delhi’s Ridge — the green lungs of the capital. … Continue reading

Villagers say won’t ever leave sanctuary

Source :Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 20, 2013

On driving down the main Chhatarpur road, there are resorts, restaurants, farmhouses, banquet halls and marble stores — all things urban — on both sides.

And one approaches the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern ridge, one would hope to leave behind all this and enjoy exotic plants, rare animals amid dense forests and water bodies. What comes across, however, is totally unexpected.

Malnourished children defecate in the open, women with dishevelled looks source water from abandoned mine pits and jobless men loiter in narrow, muddy lanes. There are two schools, a dispensary and a community hall — but without any facilities.

Welcome to Sanjay Colony, a village of 25,000 people living illegally in the sanctuary without access to proper housing, toilets, drinking water and other similar amenities.

After a 2006 Supreme Court order, the Delhi government shifted two smaller colonies — Indira Nagar and Balbeer Nagar — from the sanctuary.

But Sanjay Colony was never shifted because, with a 13,000-strong electorate, it is a potential vote bank in the Chhatarpur Assembly constituency.

Environmentalist Ravi Agrawal, a former member of the ridge management board, said, “The forest department is Entire ridge is facing encroachment, illegal construction, debris dumping also taking forever in finalising boundaries and settling rights of those still living in forest areas. Protest from the villagers is another reason.”

The Delhi government had declared the ridge a reserve forest 20 years ago but a final notification is yet to be issued, resulting in massive encroachment. Non-settlement of forest rights means non-forest activity continues in forests.

But the residents are unwilling to move out. Roshan Lal, 60, said, “Congress leaders settled us in the mid-1970, long before the ridge was declared a protected area and the sanctuary came into being. Jaan de denge, yahan se nahi jayenge.”

Wazir Chand, 49, said, “We have our ponies and donkeys. We cannot move into flats promised by the government. We need plots to build our houses.”

The villagers — artisans in stone-cutting and quarrying — migrated from Pakistan via Rajasthan.

They mined quartzite rocks, which yielded high quality silica sand — locally known as ‘Badarpur’ or ‘Bajri’.

Mining continues in Haryana across the border and in some parts of Delhi.

“There are so many colonies. I need to look at the details before I make a comment,” said Delhi’s urban development minister Arvinder Singh.