Petition Closed
Petitioning Town and Country Planning Department - Haryana, India Director and 7 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Town and Country Planning Department - Haryana, India
Director
CCP NCR
Arvind Mehtani
Minister of State (IC), Min. of Env. and Forest, Govt. of India
Jayanti Natrajan
Govt. of Haryana
Chief Secretary
Member Secretary, NCR Planning Board
Naini Jayaseelan,
Chairman CENTRAL GROUND WATER BOARD
SC Dhiman
Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt of India
T Chatterjee
Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, GOI
Jairam Ramesh

Save Aravalli Hills

Aravalli Hills in danger!  The Haryna Govt. is zoning the aravallis for real estate.  Aravallis are an important groundwater recharge area, wilderness habitat and host most of the forest cover.   The Sohna Master Plan 2031 will affect Gurgaon city and Sohna, and must be halted in its tracks and modified !

Sign this petition and save what’s left of the Aravali Hills. If thousands sign we can ensure that the Town and Country Planning Department - Zone Aravalli hills as water recharge zone and sanctuary.

 


Letter to
Town and Country Planning Department - Haryana, India Director
CCP NCR Arvind Mehtani
Minister of State (IC), Min. of Env. and Forest, Govt. of India Jayanti Natrajan
and 5 others
Govt. of Haryana Chief Secretary
Member Secretary, NCR Planning Board Naini Jayaseelan,
Chairman CENTRAL GROUND WATER BOARD SC Dhiman
Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt of India T Chatterjee
Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, GOI Jairam Ramesh
I've just signed the following petition addressed to: Town and Country Planning Department - Haryana, India.

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Zone Aravalli hills as water recharge zone and sanctuary

Sub: Objections and amendments for the Sohna DDP 2031, due Aug 24th 2012.

“Do you not realise the seriousness of the matter?
Where will the next generation go if we extract the complete groundwater?”

(Asked by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the principal secretary of the Haryana Town and Country planning department, SS Dhillon, as per report dated 01.08.2012 in Hindustan Times.)

“Aravalli hills must be protected at any cost”
“The natural sources of air, water and soil cannot be utilized if the utilization results in irreversible damage to environments.”
(Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, dated May 2004 in WPC 4677 of 1985)

Summary objections: For the reasons and violations listed later, we assert that the current plan is null and void, and we strongly urge you to amend the Sohna Master plan 2031, as follows:
a. bring it compliance with the provisions of the Regional Plan 2021 of the NCRPB, as mandated by Sec 29 of the NCR Planning Board Act,
b. Await RP 2031, and bring this DDP in compliance with that.
c. Exclude Aravallis from Agriculture zone.
d. Declare the entire Aravallis falling in the DDP, and including the catchment of the Damdama Lake, as a forest zone and water recharge zone and separate and distinct from the agricultural zone and protect it for all times to come as a sanctuary or conservation reserve.
e. calculate the water demand for the proposed town, and sustainable recharge required,
f. zone 4 to 8 times the area of urbanized sectors as recharge zone.
g. Depict Aravallis and Section 4 and 5 notified areas of the Punjab Land Preservation Act on the map.
h. Desist from making zoning provisions for non-forestry activities in deemed forest areas, and to be identified deemed forest areas.
i. Identify all seasonal and perennial water bodies, including submersible areas upstream of bunds and other low-lying areas and zone as no-construction zones.
j. Provide a green belt along the Mehandwara Nadi of 100 m.
k. Provide a green belt of 400-800 metres linking the gap between the north and south aravallis
l. Provide for wildlife crossings across the proposed highways
m. Provide for cycling tracks along all major roads
n. Keep the plan on hold till the above is done.

The Context
1. The Aravalli hills of Gurgaon district and specifically falling in the Sohna DDP 2031 are a critical natural groundwater recharge zone as identified by CGWB for Gurgaon, Sohna and other towns.

2. Virtually all of the little forest cover that remains in this area exists in the ecologically sensitive Aravallis.

3. Aravallis also include 1000s of acres of the catchment of Damdama lake, the last remaining major perennial Aravalli lake in Gurgaon district.

4. Over 70% of Gurgaon is dependent on groundwater supply for drinking and domestic water supply, there is over 300% over-withdrawal of groundwater.

5. Punjab & Haryana High court has banned use of groundwater water for construction.

6. The Aravallis are protected under the Aravalli Notification of 7th May 1992 of which restricts construction and roads.

7. The Regional Plan 2021, prepared by the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) which Haryana is bound to follow as per section 29 of the NCRPB Act, provides for protection of the Aravallis as a Natural conservation Zone. The regional plan 2031 is under preparation, and hence a Sohna DDP for 2031 is premature.

8. The Aravallis are a wildlife habitat and corridor between Delhi and Rajasthan and include a gap between Sohna and Damdama areas.

9. The Aravallis include identified and to be identified deemed forests, as per the Godavarman (12.12.96) and Lafarge (06.07.2011) judgements of the Hon. Supreme Court.

The Master Plan Proposal

10. Aravalli in Agriculture zone. The Sohna DDP includes Aravallis and most forests under a so-called “agricultural zone”, and permits, a total of 25 activities, that will fragment and destroy the this wildlife habitat and corridor and groundwater recharge zone.
a. These include: farm houses, mining, industry, amusement parks, 5 star hotels, banquet halls, ready mix concrete plants, there. The plan also says that Cyber cities can be allowed inside this agricultural zone.

11. Including Aravallis, a non-agricultural area, in the agriculture zone is mischievous, misleading and a non-conforming landuse and in defiance of the letter and spirit of the judgements, Act, notifications, mentioned above.

12. Token Groundwater recharge zone. In this context, while the idea behind the proposal in the Sohna DDP 2031, for a groundwater recharge zone, is welcome, the allocation of 340 ha is grossly inadequate.

13. Depending on assumptions one hectare of residential area would require a recharge zone of 4 to 8 times, or 4 to 8 hectares.
a. Aravalli Recharge 20,00,000 litres /ha/year (1/3 of rainfall of 600 mm/yr)
b. Residential use 1,64,00,000 litres/ha/year (300 per/ha x 150 lpd x 365d)

14. Unsustainable. A plan with 1700 ha of residential and thousands more for industry and commercial use, with no external source of water, and only 340 ha as groundwater recharge zone is unsustainable, as it will require over 10,000 ha for groundwater recharge zone and not.

15. Green Belts for streams/nallahs and creating wildlife corridors. Currently proposed only as highway buffers which are also future expansion areas. Green belts should be provided for protecting natural systems - for nullahs/streams, 50-100 m on each side, as stream buffers that carry and recharge storm water, and for creating wildlife corridors in the aravalli gap.

16. Overall, the Aravallis cover less than 10-15% of the undivided Gurgaon district – the state government still has the rest 85-90% left to develop and urbanize.

17. Accordingly, for these reasons and violations we hold that the current plan is null and void, and we strongly urge you to amend the Sohna Master plan 2031, as follows:
a. bring it compliance with the provisions of the Regional Plan 2021 of the NCRPB, as mandated by Sec 29 of the NCR Planning Board Act,
b. Await RP 2031, and bring this DDP in compliance with that.
c. Exclude Aravallis from Agriculture zone.
d. Declare the entire Aravallis falling in the DDP, and including the catchment of the Damdama Lake, as a forest zone and water recharge zone and separate and distinct from the agricultural zone and protect it for all times to come as a sanctuary or conservation reserve.
e. calculate the water demand for the proposed town, and sustainable recharge required,
f. zone 4 to 8 times the area of urbanized sectors as recharge zone.
g. Depict Aravallis and Section 4 and 5 notified areas of the Punjab Land Preservation Act on the map.
h. Desist from making zoning provisions for non-forestry activities in deemed forest areas, and to be identified deemed forest areas.
i. Identify all seasonal and perennial water bodies, including submersible areas upstream of bunds and other low-lying areas and zone as no-construction zones.
j. Provide a green belt along the Mehandwara Nadi of 100 m.
k. Provide a green belt of 400-800 metres linking the gap between the north and south aravallis
l. Provide for wildlife crossings across the proposed highways
m. Provide for cycling tracks along all major roads
n. Keep the plan on hold till the above is done.



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Sincerely,