Relevant to MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
Subject: ECOLOGICAL HAVOC IN ARAVALI HILLS
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government’s attention has been drawn to the news report captioned, ‘Ecological havoc in Aravali Hills’, published in the Times of India, dated the 1st November, 2002;
(b) whether Government have drawn up any plan to stem the rapid exploitation of the Aravali Hills, to meet the growing urban requirements; and
(c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
Answered by SHRI T.R. BAALU
(a), (b) & (c): The Government has enacted the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 to take effective measures for protection of environment and prevention of ecological degradation in the country. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has brought out a notification vide S.O.319(E) dated 07.05.1992 under section 3(1) and section 3(2) (v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 prohibiting certain activities in specified areas of Aravalli Range in Gurgaon district of Haryana and Alwar district of Rajasthan except with the prior permission of the Ministry.
The activities covered under the notification are:
(i) location of any new industry including expansion and modernisation,
(ii) all new mining operations including renewal of mining leases,
(iii) existing mining leases in Sanctuaries/National Parks and areas covered under Project Tiger and/or mining being done without the permission of the competent authority,
(iv) cutting of trees,
(v) construction of any clusters of dwelling units, farm houses, sheds, community centres, information centres and any activity connected with such construction (including roads, a part of infrastructure relating thereto) and
(vi) electrification (laying of new transmission lines).
The powers of the Central Government under the Aravalli Notification, 1992 were subsequently delegated to the State Governments of Haryana and Rajasthan vide Notification S.O.1189 (E) dated 29.11.1999. Inter-alia, the State Governments of Haryana and Rajasthan have been required to draw up master plans for development of the area covered by the Aravalli Notification, 1992 integrating environmental concerns and keeping in view the future land use of the area.
The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified Gurgaon town and adjoining industrial areas of Gurgaon district, Haryana for regulation of ground water development and management on account of depletion of ground water due to over-exploitation and deterioration in ground water quality.
Considering the ecological importance of the ridge, which forms a part of the Aravalli range, the Government of Delhi has also constituted Delhi Ridge Management Board on 06.10.1995 to maintain and protect the ridge area effectively.