The decision was taken at a meeting headed by deputy commissioner Yash Garg on Tuesday The chief conservator of forests, Vasvi Tyagi, district town planner (enforcement) RS Batth and other senior officials were also present. Referring to a Supreme Court order on demolition of 10,000 houses in Khori village in the Aravalis, Garg said removing unauthorised constructions in forest areas was “top priority”.
“I have ordered a baseline survey of all forested areas in the district to prepare a list of structures that are there. The survey will be done with the help of drones and it will begin in a week,” Garg said. He added that it would be the first such survey in the district.
After the survey has listed the types of structures built in and around the forest areas, the forest department will go through the records and identify the illegal ones. The survey, according to Garg, will include the mapping of all forest areas within the limits of the Gurgaon and Manesar corporations and the panchayats.
“Notices will be sent to the owners of illegal structures. After a few days, the buildings will be razed by the enforcement teams,” Batth added.
It has often been seen that residents of villages around the Aravalis, who were allotted land by the government for agriculture, sell it to private developers, who, in turn, build farmhouses and other such structures. Khori, for instance, was one such village that had come up illegally on forest land.
Tyagi, the chief conservator of forests, said the forest department had prepared a geo-reference map for the district and it would be shared with the survey teams. According to her, Gurgaon district has a total of 6,800 hectares across 33 revenue estates that are covered by the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). “The baseline survey, using drone cameras, will help us identify every structure that has come up on these 6,800 hectares of PLPA land,” she added.
Officials in Faridabad, which also have forested areas, said all illegal structures, including farmhouses, on protected land would be demolished. Till now, the district has identified around 130 illegal structures built across 500 acres of PLPA notified land.