NGT asks Report for Aravali village land issue

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NGT - Constrofacilitator

NGT [The National Green Tribuna] has directed the Haryana revenue and forest departments to file an action taken report on a petition alleging that land consolidation proceedings in Faridabad’s Kot village will affect the Aravalis by change of land use.

“Let a joint factual and action taken report be furnished by the secretary, forest, and the secretary, revenue, Haryana, within one month,” says the NGT order issued on August 29. The forest department has been made a nodal agency for submission of the report.

The petition has been filed by activist Col S S Oberoi. Since the past eight years, Kot village has been at the centre of a controversy over land consolidation – done by bringing together several small holdings scattered over a vast area – because of involvement of protected forest land of the Aravalis.

Consolidation proceedings here were first initiated in 2011 but were stalled by the then DG consolidation holdings, Haryana, Ashok Khemka, in 2012.

In 2013, a consolidation attempt was made again, but after Col Oberoi moved the NGT in 2014, notices to the state government were sent following which it was withdrawn. In 2018, the revenue department declined a consolidation proposal saying that there is little agricultural land available for the purpose.

However, proceedings were reinitiated on February 1 this year when the Directorate of Consolidation Holdings, Haryana, issued a notification to take up consolidation of the entire 3,184 acres of land in Kot village.

Out of this, 2,745 acres is ‘gair mumkin pahar’, or uncultivable land, and is a part of shamlat lands (common land).In 2017, the NGT, in a case involving over 52 acres of land in Faridabad’s Sarai Khawaja village, had stated that ‘gair mumkin pahar’ is deemed forest and therefore protected under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.