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In a first, 1 booked in Faridabad for violating PLPA

March 12, 2019 07:25 AM


In a first, 1 booked in Faridabad for violating PLPA
Chetna Choudhry & Sharad Kohli TNN


: In the first of what’s likely to be many instances of blowbacks to the Haryana government’s intention of tweaking the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, a resident of Mewla Maharajpur village, Faridabad, has been booked on charges of carrying out illegal construction in the forest area of Surajkund, which is protected by the said Act.

The FIR was registered on Friday on the recommendation of the mines and geology department and the district administration. Notably, this is the first FIR following the Supreme Court’s censure of the state administration for its proposal to amend the Act.

The FIR was registered under Section 188 of IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and sections 4 and 5 of PLPA (under which all areas are deemed as ‘forest’), at Surajkund police station.

According to the complaint filed by mining officers in Faridabad, a team that was out on an official inspection in the Aravalis on March 4, spotted stone being crushed, illegally, along Narayan Gaushala road, by Mewla Maharajpur resident Baljeet Singh, ostensibly to construct a farmhouse.

“The inspection was conducted on the basis of a tip-off received by the mining officers. The site visit by officers Kamlesh Kumari, Chandra Shekhar, Arjun Singh and Shiv Charan, collected evidence of fresh stone mining in the area. The copy of the FIR has been shared with the district magistrate and concerned officers,” said Sube Singh, PRO, Faridabad Police.

The action is being viewed as important in the continuing efforts to protect the Aravalis, especially in light of the haste shown by the BJP-led state government to amend PLPA, SC’s strong intervention that followed, and NGT’s order last week, which categorised as ‘deemed forest’ the 52 acres of Aravalis land in Sarai Khawaja village, where 6,000 trees were felled in June 2017, purportedly to make way for a real-estate project.

The proposed amendment to PLPA, which has created uproar among environmentalists and the public, would have opened up the entire forest area in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts for real-estate development. This FIR, therefore, assumes greater significance in the battle to save the green cover of Aravalis in south Haryana

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