Borewells dug, pipes laid to supply water to illegal Aravali farmhouses | Gurgaon News

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GURUGRAM: A road leading up to a farmhouse located uphill from the low-lying Raisina village in Aravalis, towards its southern part, has been illegally dug up to lay a water pipeline.
According to locals, the digging has been going on for a month, to transport groundwater to a farmhouse from illegal borewells previously dug in the village by the farmhouse owner. Villagers said water scarcity on the hills is making many farmhouse owners lay illegal water pipelines from borewells situated in low-lying villages like Kharak to their farmhouses, situated on the hills near Raisina village. “As there is no source of water up the hills, borewells dug in low-lying areas are used to extract water and pump it to the farmhouses.
The construction has been going on in broad daylight, with the authorities least bothered about it. Our village will soon run out of water if such violations continue,” said a villager, requesting anonymity.
Activist Colonel (retired) S S Oberoi said, “Illegal walls, illegal farmhouses, illegal felling of trees to clear land and now illegal water pipeline to support these.
Laying pipeline alone involves numerous violations, from digging borewells in an area already marked as a “dark zone” for water availability, and laying the pipeline along the road without permits. It’s clear there is no check by authorities in the area.” All this, despite the Supreme Court’s ban on extraction of groundwater in 448 sq km of the Aravalis in Gurugram and Faridabad. The area also falls under Aravali Notification, which doesn’t allow construction in the area. Under sections 3(1) and 3(2)(v) of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rule 5(3)(d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, ‘cutting of trees’ and ‘construction of any clusters of dwelling units, farmhouses, sheds, community centres, information centres and any other activity connected with such construction (including roads a part of any infrastructure relating thereto)’ is prohibited in areas falling under the notification. In July 2018, a similar violation came to light, but no action was taken against the farmhouse owners. As many go scot free, farmhouses owners are emboldened. Some believe the only way to protect the area is to give ‘deemed forest’ status to the entire Aravalis. Jitender Bhadana of NGO Save Aravalis, said, “All forested and hilly areas, including Raisina, are prone to illegal construction and illegal extraction of groundwater, because Aravalli Notification hasn’t given enough legal shield to the Aravalis. Therefore, the only way to end massacre of the Aravalis is to declare the entire range ‘deemed forest’.”
In December 2010, the high court ordered a complete ban on borewells and asked the administration not to give permits for them without consulting the court, after the PWD predicted the city will run out of groundwater by 2040 if the usage continued at the then rate of consumption.
The entire Gurugram district was marked as a ‘dark zone’ by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) in 2013, which refers to an area where groundwater level has fallen beyond a parameter. Officials of the forest and hydrology departments, and HSPCB all assured that the violations will be inspected and strict action taken against offenders.

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