Taking cognisance of a TOI report on construction going on in the ecologically sensitive Aravali Hills, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed an immediate stay on the construction of a road after flattening an entire hill in an area being developed illegally and sought a report from Haryana on the alleged violation of its order.
The court passed the order after amicus curiae ADN Rao and additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati brought TOI’s report to its notice.
‘Threat of irreversible damage to environment’
Rao pleaded that an immediate stay was required or irreversible damage to environment could be done.
Agreeing with their plea, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari asked additional advocate general of Haryana Anil Grover to file a report after taking instruction from the government. “It is pointed out by Aishwarya Bhati, ASG, that in today’s edition of Times of India, there is a news item which indicates that an entire Aravali hillock has been flattened to build an approach road for farmhouses being constructed in village Bandhwari, around 1.5km off the Gurgaon-Faridabad road. Anil Grover, learned additional advocate general appearing on behalf of the state of Haryana, has assured us that the needful will be done to stop further damage today itself,” the court said.
“We direct the district magistrate and police authorities to take appropriate action forthwith,” it said.
TOI had reported that the hillock had been razed to build an approach road for farmhouses being constructed in Bandhwari, which is a natural conservation zone where construction is prohibited. Rao later told TOI that if construction is not stopped immediately as directed by the court, he will move a contempt petition.
SC had in 2018 ordered demolition of all buildings in Faridabad’s Kant Enclave, which were constructed after 1992 and owned by high-profile people, including politicians, ex-bureaucrats and former judges.
The court had also directed the Rajasthan government to stop illegal mining in a 115.34-hectare area after the SC-appointed central empowered committee had informed the court that 31 of 128 hills in the Aravali region in the state had vanished in the last 50 years due to massive illegal mining.