Kiran Choudhry, Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (CLP), has described the decision of the Haryana Government to earmark a 500-m buffer zone for the protection of 'Mangar Bani' green cover in Mangar village of Faridabad district as a “good climb-down” and an outright victory of the Congress. It is the Opposition Congress which had made persistent efforts to checkmate and thwart the original designs of the BJP Government, led by Mr Manohar Lal Khattar, she said.
In a statement issued here today, the former Environment and Forest Minister said, “Good that better sense has prevailed upon the Khattar Government after I took up the issue both on the floor of the Assembly and outside by shooting off letters to the state Environment Minister as well as the Chief Minister. In fact, after great efforts, I, as Forest and Environment Minister, had got the buffer zone around Mangar Bani notified in 2010 as Natural Conservation Zone (NCZ). I, as an environmentalist, hope all other forest areas will now receive same treatment,” she added.
“Hypocrisy will be at its peak if the Khattar Government claimed credit for doing so. For, it is this very BJP Government which had only in February decided to approach the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) for review of its decision to earmark 500-metre buffer around Mangar Bani in the Aravallis as no construction zone,” Ms Choudhry remarked.About one lakh hectares of land falls in the Aravallis in southern Haryana. Of this, just 20,000 hectares are identified as forest under Sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act while the rest is unprotected. Environmentalists have been seeking protection of the 'Mangar Bani' forest which is situated in the Aravallis and is often referred to as the "last known virgin forest" in this area, she added.