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National Green Tribunal is the last hope for activists to save Aravalis forest
In spite of the Aravalis in Gurgaon being a protected zone, there is a large scale felling of trees, primarily in Mangar and Roz Ka Gujjar area. Approximately, thousands of trees have been systemically chopped so much so that it would be difficult to state that the area was earlier bustling with trees. This has angered environment activists in Gurgaon.

''Nobody is bothered about the forests. Who cares about these forests? It has already been sold off to a number of politicians, bureaucrats,'' said Latika Thukral, an environment activist. No wonder with such powerful people owing the land, such kind of illegal felling of trees is taking place so rapidly.

What makes it even more so surprising is the fact that the such illegal activity is taking place during the day-time right under the nose of the forest officials. “The forest people do nothing about it. Why is the court silent as well?,” said Vivek, another activist.

Initially, it was villagers from nearby areas who used to go to the forests and then collect the fallen twigs and to the most, pull branches for their firewood. But, now, builders and the property dealers are asking them to chop and clear the forests as well. ''These dealers are doing to build farmhouses, which would also lead to colonizatoion,'' added Vivek. This definitely points towards commercialisation of the area.

The activists have been trying their best to put a stop to it, but have not been able to do so. Vivek said, ''We have filed cases in the National Green Tribunal and we are happy with the response we have received so far. In fact, National Green Tribunal is our last hope.'' The tribunal is a special fast-track court to handle cases pertaining to environmental issues.

The activists are fighting to save the Aravalis green, as it may have a huge impact on the society as well. ''The water levels will decrease rapidly. There will be restriction on the movement of the wild animals. Everybody has the right to live in a good environment.''

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