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Environmentalists hail decision to declare Mangar Bani as no-construction belt

The Aravalli’s ancient forest grove is an excellent groundwater recharge zone

June 19, 2016 12:00 am | Updated October 18, 2016 01:05 pm IST - GURGAON

Another significance:Experts say that Mangar Bani will serve as wildlife corridor between the Asola wildlife sanctuary in Delhi and the Sariska national park in Rajasthan.File Photo

Another significance:Experts say that Mangar Bani will serve as wildlife corridor between the Asola wildlife sanctuary in Delhi and the Sariska national park in Rajasthan.File Photo

: Environmentalists have hailed the recent decision of the Haryana government to notify Mangar Bani, off Gurgaon-Faridabad road, as a no-construction belt.

“We had been fighting for the status for almost a decade. It is very critical for the ecological balance of the region. Not just environmentalists, but the Central Ground Water Board has declared in its report that Mangar Bani is an excellent water recharge zone. With the groundwater level in Gurgaon fast depleting, the Aravallis are the lifeline of the region,” said Jitender Bhadana, a Faridabad-based environmentalist.

Reserved zone

He, however, cautioned that was a need to continue the fight for declaring the entire Aravallis as a reserved zone. “The municipal corporations of Gurgaon and Faridabad are looking for land between Mangar and Pali villages for setting up a landfill site. If that happens, the underground water in the surroundings would be contaminated, and the purpose of conserving Mangar Bani will be defeated. Already water in the surroundings of Bhanwari village has been contaminated due to a landfill site,” he said.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had this past Monday approved a proposal to issue a notification with regard to the delineation of Mangar Bani falling in village Mangar and its 500-meter buffer zone as a no-construction belt. The area under Mangar Bani is 653.45 acres, and the total area, including the 500-meter buffer zone around Mangar Bani, is 979.13 acres.

Wildlife corridor

Vivek Kamboj of Haryali said the decision on Mangar Bani was “welcome” and that the area would serve as a wildlife corridor between the Asola wildlife sanctuary in Delhi and the Sariska national park in Rajasthan, besides being a water recharge zone, but the fight was far from over. “We are encouraged. But our fight will continue till the forests in the Aravalli hills are declared reserved,” said Mr. Kamboj.

Environmental analyst Chetan Agarwal said: “The decision will hopefully pave way for the protection of the forests under the Wildlife Protection Act. The government should hold a similar view on the natural conservation zone in Aravallis.”

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