The Supreme Court has warned the Haryana
government that it will be in “trouble” if it has done
“anything” with Aravalli hills or forest area. This comes in the
backdrop of Haryana government seeking to amend the Punjab Land Preservation
Act (PLPA), 1900.
The PLPA was enacted by the then Punjab
government in 1900. It provided for conservation of subsoil water and
prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to
become liable to erosion.
The Haryana government had recently passed the Punjab
Land Preservation (Haryana amendment) Act, 2019. The Act amends the PLPA
1900. It permits construction activities in areas that were protected as
forests under PLPA 1900. The Supreme Court had stayed the PLPA 2019 on 1st March 2019.
The Supreme Court had previously ordered
demolition of illegal constructions in the Aravalli area which were in
violation of August 18, 1992 notification issued under PLPA 1900. The 1992 notification had prohibited
clearing or breaking up of land not ordinarily under cultivation.
Haryana government’s decision to amend PLPA 1900
has been criticised for violating 1992 notification and violation of
Supreme Court orders in which it has been stated that areas under PLPA are
Aravalli are the oldest mountain range in India.
It spreads across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
The Aravalli fold mountains are particularly
significant for it’s a) role in prevention of the spread of the Thar Desert
towards eastern Rajasthan, Indo Gangetic plains, Haryana and Western UP,
b) ground water recharge function, c) blocking dust storms approaching and
d) ecological balance: It has forested patches: Haryana’s five forest
divisions- Gurgaon, Mewat, Mahendergarh, Faridabad and Rewari- still have more
than 465sqkm of total forest area.