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NGT stays cutting of trees in Aravalli hills

New Delhi, Sep 8, 2013 (PTI) 10:21 IST
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The National Green Tribunal has ordered an interim stay on cutting of trees in Manger village in Aravalli hills on a plea for withdrawing permission granted by authorities for non-forestry activities there.

A bench headed by Justice S N Hussain issued notices and sought replies of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Haryana government, Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Faridabad and the Forest Department of Haryana by next date of hearing, September 19.

"Let notice be issued to the respondents. Till further orders let there be an interim order restraining respondents from undertaking any non-forestry activities including cutting the trees in the areas covered under this application. Stand over to September 19, 2013," the bench said.

The order came on the plea of Haryali Welfare Society which opposed the decision of Faridabad Town and Country Planning department authorising construction of walls and fences around one acre of the forest area near Manger village of the district, for agricultural purposes.

It has alleged that permission for fencing of the area was granted by the town planning department of Faridabad in violation of MoEF directives.

Citing news reports, the society contended that the Aravalli hills are ecologically fragile and no agricultural activity is possible there.

It also contended that cutting of trees and digging up of the area could result in soil erosion and the walling or fencing of the area would hinder the movement of wildlife.

Apart from seeking an interim stay on the fencing work in the area, the society also sought that no such permission for non-forest activity be granted in future.

The petition further sought directions to the authorities to conduct a survey of all non-forest activity near Manger village in the Aravalli hills.

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