About 8,000 hectares of Aravalis in Faridabad not part of NCZ: Haryana government – ET RealEstate

GURUGRAM: Around 8,000 hectares of the Aravalis in Faridabad are not part of the Natural Conservation Zone (NCZ), the Haryana government has pointed out. This is likely to pave the way for constructions in the green area, an issue that has led to several court petitions by environmental activists.

In a letter to all the districts, principal secretary (town and country planning) AK Singh has said that the protected Aravalis should be defined according to a 1992 notification by the Centre, which says that the “specific areas” of the forests are limited to Gurugram in Haryana and Alwar in Rajasthan.

“It has been noted that in the revenue record, there is no term namely ‘Aravalli’, rather there is only mention of ‘Gair Mumkin Pahar’. Accordingly, some of the districts have identified the areas recorded as ‘Gair Mumkin Pahar’, in revenue records, under NCZ by considering the same as ‘Aravalli’ and simultaneously highlighted the same for decision by state level committee for NCZ,” the letter said.

It further said, “On this issue the attention was drawn towards the minutes of the meeting held under the chairmanship of the chief secretary, Haryana in March 2017, wherein on the issue regarding identification of Aravalli, the following is recorded: ‘…Government of Haryana may consider this notification in old district Gurugram only and areas specified in the notification dated 07.05.1992 may be considered as Aravalli. Definition of Aravalli may not be extended to other Haryana sub-region areas which are not defined in the Aravalli notification dated 07.05.1992 unless the same is done by MoEF&CC through a similar notification. So only ‘specified areas’ in old district Gurugram existing on 07.05.1992 may be part of ‘confirmed NCZ’.”

The letter by Singh is based on findings of a “ground-truthing” exercise that was started in 2014 to identify areas that had been left out of the NCZ and those that were included inadvertently.

Environmental activists raised objections to the state government’s decision. “Instead of protecting the Aravalis, the Haryana government is protecting the interests of real estate developers. This is coming at the expense of wildlife and its habitats, air quality and ground water recharge. The government is trying to undermine the decision of the NCR planning board (which said Aravalis are spread in the entire region). This is a brazen attempt to open up Aravalis for real estate,” said Lt Col Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi (retired), an activist.

In a meeting with the state government in 2016, the NCR planning board had also referred to the Centre’s 1992 notification of the Aravalis only in Gurugram and Alwar. The board had then said that the Centre’s delineation could be extended in the “entire NCR region”.
About 8,000 hectares of Aravalis in Faridabad not part of NCZ: Haryana governmentThe order has taken many activists by surprise too. They pointed out that several Supreme Court judgments on mining in Faridabad were based on the premise that the activity was banned in the Aravali hills. In a recent verdict, the apex court had also ordered the demolition of 10,000 houses that had come up illegally in Khori village in the Aravali hills of Faridabad.

“There are so many documents showing that the Aravalis exist in other districts too. There are district gazette plans, the forest department’s working reports, the mining department’s documents and most importantly, the Supreme Court’s judgments banning mining. How can the Haryana government question its own documents?” asked RP Balwan, a former forest conservator of Gurugram.

The Haryana government has spent years deliberating on the definition of “forests”. In December 2016, it had agreed with the NCR planning board on the issue of forests. In 2017, the board had referred to the December 2016 meeting with the government and said that “specified areas (i.e. the land categories of Gair Mumkin Pahar or Gair Mumkin Rada or Gair Mumkin Behed or Banjad Beed or Rundh) as given in the MoEF’s notification dated 07.05.1992 are to be included while identifying/delineating Aravalli in entire NCR, by the participating states”.

A senior official in the housing and urban affairs ministry said the Centre’s notification was based on certain Supreme Court judgments regarding mining activities. He added that since they could not reach a specific definition of the Aravalis in previous meetings, they had resorted to the 1992 notification.

The fresh directive of the government, the officials pointed out, thus counters the decision reached at the 2016 meeting between the Haryana government and the NCR planning board.



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Soon, a rental housing scheme for industrial workers in Haryana – ET RealEstate

GURUGRAM: To address the issue of dedicated residential areas for industrial workers in Haryana, the state government has decided to roll out an affordable rental housing policy.

Approving the policy proposed by the department of town and country planning (DTCP), the government has asked the department to roll out the scheme in all industrial belts.

Last month, the DTCP issued a notification announcing that the government has approved the policy either through the grant of CLU permissions for standalone projects or through “Rental Affordable Housing Sites” proposed as part of the residential component in the layout plan of Industrial colonies licenced under Act no. 8 of 1975. “The developer may either undertake its development itself or, alienate the same to any other agency for its development as per the policy parameters prescribed herein,” read the notification issued by the DTCP.

According to the officials, the policy was drafted last year and has now got a go-ahead from the government, asking the department to ensure its effective implementation. The officials have noted that the policy aims to facilitate the creation of affordable housing that can be provided on a rental basis to the industrial workers not willing to own an accommodation or living in cramped up areas owing to economic and social reasons.

“All units in the project whether residential or commercial can only be offered on rent either for short term (minimum one month) or for long term (one year or more. These units cannot be independently sold either under Haryana Apartment Ownership Act, 1983 or otherwise. Thus the entire project remains under undivided ownership for all the times to come,” said a senior DTCP official.

The policy further specifies that the area norms for such projects would be in the range of 0.5-4 acres and the area of dwelling shall range from 20sqm to 60sqm.

Industries, while welcoming the move, have argued that to make this policy a reality and feasible for both the workers and industries, a lot more needs to be done.



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NCRPB proposes eight greenfield townships in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana & Rajasthan – ET RealEstate

In the Draft Regional Plan 2041, NCRPB has proposed the need to explore possibilities of establishing five-eight new greenfield townships, based on productive economic impulses in UP, Haryana and Rajasthan sub regions.

It says these cities can be located on growth nodes along key transport corridors such as expressways and rail corridors, either on virgin land or as extension of current small settlements based on feasibility of productive activities.

It says such cities may have smart elements like land allotment, e-land, smart water and electricity, central smart command system, 24X7 security, rain water harvesting and net zero water consumption areas.

It has also proposed innovative land use plans to support accelerated development such as introducing the concept of short and medium term lease of land for 5-10 years instead of current 70-90 years for industrial uses and reduce the burden of high land cost.



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Chandigarh: Income Tax department shows interest in high-end flats at IT park – ET RealEstate

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CHANDIGARH: While the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has not received advance money from Punjab, Haryana and PGI for high-end flats for government officials at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (IT Park), the Income Tax department has expressed an interest in the flats for their officials.

A senior CHB official said they had received a letter from the Income Tax department, seeking details related to flats, pricing and payment mode. He added that they would provide the details to the department at the earliest.

Earlier, the board had written to Punjab, Haryana and PGI but no one submitted the 25% advance money. Although Punjab and PGI gave their affirmation, they have still not made any deposit.

Sources said the high cost of the towers having the residential flats was the likely reason.

The housing board is expected to construct 10 towers with 28 flats each having a base price of Rs 2 crore for each flat. All the three agencies are expected to pay Rs 66 crore each for their share of the flats. The project is to come up on 6.73 acres of land.

In June, CHB officials delivered a presentation in Haryana assembly to speaker Gian Chand Gupta, chief secretary Vijai Vardhan and engineering department officials. Sources said that Haryana was now considering construction of flats in Panchkula.

The CHB planned to construct luxury flats for officials and MLAs of Punjab and Haryana and for PGI as well as Chandigarh administration.

To start construction, CHB wrote to Punjab, Haryana and PGI last year to release their share of 25% payment. In September 2019, CHB sought opinion from both the governments. In addition to Punjab and Haryana, PGI also expressed willingness to buy flats.



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