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Revised NCR plan will limit construction in green zones (April)

Environment activists could breathe a bit easy as the revised plan for National Capital Region and sub-regional plan of Haryana will be reworked to ensure no tourism activities and only limited construction in natural conservation zones (NCZs). These sensitive zones include Aravalis, riverbeds and major water bodies.


Sources told TOI that the minutes of the last NCR Planning Board meeting will mention all these since all the parties have agreed to incorporate specific changes suggested by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to protect ecologically sensitive areas. "These are major changes. Complying with the meeting, provisions relating to the construction in NCZs will be modified before the plans are notified. There will be no mention of any condition or exception to allow construction beyond 0.5%. Mapping and delineation of forest will be done by each member state," said an official, who attended the meeting.


According the NCRPB reports, green cover and water bodies almost equal to a quarter (23%) of Delhi's area was lost to development works and rabid urbanization in NCR. Once Haryana has committed to make the changes in its sub-regional plan, sources said it has no option but to comply with the minutes that would be circulated. "In case they fail to do so, NCRPB will send objections. If this is brought to the notice of courts, the fate of the plan and projects cleared by the state will be under legal scrutiny," said a source. A major controversy had broken out after TOI first reported in September last year how Haryana government had successfully got restrictions on construction activity in NCZs deleted from the proposed revised regional plan in the 61st planning committee meeting held at NCRPB.


Times of India, Delhi, Tuesday 29th April 2014