Question asked in Lok Sabha on 13/03/2006 by SMT. MANEKA GANDHI

Relevant to MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
Subject: ENCROACHMENT OF RIDGE AREA

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:
(a) whether according to a recent report, the topography of the Ridge is being changed form reserved forests to commercial parkland;
(b) if so, the details thereof, State-wise;
(c) whether the Government has taken any steps to remove the broad paths, motorable road, etc, which are still being constructed in the Ridge despite a ban on illegal constructions, temples and parks inside the Ridge Area; and
(d) if so, the details thereof?

Answered by SHRI NAMO NARAIN MEENA of MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS.

(a) & (b): A report of the joint inspection carried out by the officials of Delhi Government, Delhi Development Authority and a Non-Government Organisation does not indicate that the topography of the ridge is changing from reserved forests to commercial parkland. The inspection, however, confirmed the existence of wide vegetation, presence of stores, etc. in Asola and Bhatti forests area of the ridge that extend in Haryana state also. However, extension of ridge in Haryana mainly has the status of Panchayat lands and such areas have not been declared as reserved forests.

© & (d): Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has taken steps to remove illegal structures. To improve the vegetation cover in the South-Central Ridge, no new constructions are being allowed.

To check degradation of forest cover of the Ridge, the Ridge Management Board has directed all the land owning agencies to take following measures:

  • No constructions in the Ridge area.
  • Abandoning of all roads except the lanes essential for protection and maintenance of the Ridge.
  • Ridge not to be used as thoroughfare.
  • Planting of only native species in the Ridge area.
  • Repairs and strengthening of fencing of Ridge area.
  • No dumping of garbage and debris.
  • Eviction of encroachments.
  • Demarcation of Southern Ridge.