An affidavit filed by National Capital Region Planning Board in National Green Tribunal recently called concentration to the alarming shrinkage in NCR's natural conservation zones (NCZ). Now, an RTI enquiry has located which land use categories and parts were misplaced in each state since 2005. In Delhi, field of water bodies has reduced in size by 2005 by much as 22.64 percent while area of forests and wastelands has come down by 15.67 percent and 11.4 percent at the same time. The total NCZ area lost in Delhi is 15.43 percent.
The query by Rohit Choudhary of EIA Resource and Response Centre has additionally observed that NCZ area in Faridabad city has shrunk by a whopping 26 percent. It has declined by only one percent in Gurgaon city. In Faridabad, the biggest NCZ area lost appears to be forests. Area of water bodies diminished 27.51 percent from 2,737.98ha in 2005 to 753.19ha in 2012, however that of forests fell from 3,747.23ha to 2,446.95ha-a declines of 65.27 percent. NCZs incorporate environmentally-sensitive areas like Aravalis, rivers Yamuna, Hindon and Kali, lakes Badkhal, Damdama and Surajkund and salt ravines. No large building, real estate or enterprise is allowed in these areas. In Delhi, forest areas were lost even from Asola Bhatti Sanctuary-a blanketed field and from Yamuna banks.
The RTI query cites several letters from NCRPB to the lieutenant governor and the chief secretary asking for an explanation of this loss. A letter from Naini Jayaseelan, member secretary of NCRPB to LG Najeeb Jung even requested him to install someone to look into the topic after she didn't receive a reply from the chief secretary's office. "The reason why so much of NCZ has been illegally diverted or lost in Faridabad may be because the Aravali notification does not cover the district unlike the case in Gurgaon," said environmental analyst Chetan Agarwal said.
The Aravali notification could have stopped the ruthless diversion of forests and water bodies in Faridabad. We hope the alarming loss of the conservation zone prompts the federal government to provide authorized protection to NCZ. In any other case, whatever is left will disappear," environmental analyst Chetan Agarwal mentioned. In UP, the maximum depletion was in Gautam Budh Nagar-55 percent followed by Bulandshahr and Ghaziabad-Hapur. In its affidavit, NCRPB said it sent letters to Haryana, Delhi, UP and Rajasthan asking them to come âsking them to get easy on the diversion of NCZs. In Rajasthan, the absolute NCZ area misplaced is 59 percent within the water body category.