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Haryana Government Seeking to Redefine Aravalli Region

A Haryana government committee has urged authorities to use the Centre’s 1992 notice to define the regions covered by the Aravallis, which only includes the former Gurgaon district limits. Environmentalists have questioned whether the National Conservation Zone (NCZ) regulations will apply to Aravalli regions in Faridabad due to the announcement. According to the committee, the income records only indicate “gair mumkin pahar” (hilly areas that are uncultivable) and make no mention of “Aravalli.”

The committee recently instructed the concerned officials that the lands under the Aravallis should be defined based on a 1992 notice from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). On August 9, a state-level committee (SLC) meeting was convened in the Haryana subregion of the National Capital Region under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning, A K Singh, for “ground-truthing” of the NCZ.

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It has been noticed that the income record does not include the phrase “Aravalli” but mentions ‘gair mumkin pahar.’ According to observations made at the SLC conference, “some of the districts have recognized the regions listed as “gair mumkin pahar” in revenue records under the NCZ by considering the same as Aravalli.”

A reference was also made to the minutes of a meeting held on March 3, 2017, under the chairmanship of Haryana’s chief secretary, where it was stated that “the government of Haryana may consider this notification in old district Gurugram (currently Gurgaon and Nuh) only and areas specified in the notification dated May 7, 1992.”

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All active district-level sub-committees were directed to designate the Aravalli per the Aravalli notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) of May 7, 1992 which includes the regions of the former Gurgaon district. It was noted that the MoEF&CC, as the sole legally competent body, had issued a notification on May 7, 1992, which was valid only for the then-Gurgaon and Alwar districts. However, prominent environmentalist Chetan Agarwal was concerned that the move might allow for more development activity.

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