Union Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar on Monday said the Centre and the Haryana government were serious about the conservation of the Aravallis and all necessary steps would be taken for its protection.
Mr. Javadekar, who did an aerial survey of the Aravallis spread across Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat and neighbouring Rajasthan, said a separate policy would be formulated to protect the mountain range in view of the various judgments given by the Supreme Court in this regard.
The Minister was accompanied by Haryana Public Works Department Minister Rao Narbir Singh, who is also the Forest Minister in the Haryana government, and senior officers of the State Forest Department. The visit came amid speculation about possible changes being planned in the definition of forest in 2016 draft. The minister, however, did not make any comments on the issue.
He said the Union Government was doing commendable job towards conservation of forests and water bodies, and dams were being built in Mewat to conserve rainwater. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in sustainable and balanced development, and forest conservation was must for the growth of the country.
A large stretch of the Aravallis is recorded as “gair mumkin pahar” (non-cultivable land) in revenue records. The 2016 draft notification recognises these areas, but suggests marking only parts of it as “forest”.