32 years back whistleblower has blown whistle against urbanization of aravili hills in haryana
Pawan Kumar Bansal | 02 Jun 2014

Haryana government is allegedly making all out effort to get the forest area known as Aravali Hills, in National Capital Region of Faridabad and Gurgaon de-notified to allow construction activities, despite serious concerns expressed by environmentalists. But thirty two years back R.C. Rao, the then H.C.S officer concerned for the environment had blown the whistle but nobody listened to his lone voice which was trampled under pressure of powerful builder lobby.

At that time influential people had purchased land on hills of Anangpur village in Faridabad and they were were pressurizing the Govt. for consolidation of their lands so that they can take possession of the particular stretches and start construction activities.

The share holders of village and Panchayat have share in common land which was used for common purpose like grazing etc. But influential persons had purchased land from the shareholders. Rao had pointed out in his letter to Director of Consolidation Department, Haryana on 2nd Dec,1982, copy of which is in possession of this citizen journalist. The letter had pointed out that since the shareholders and Panchayat had share in the land and it can not be said that shareholders had any preferential claim on any particular side of the area.

Rao had further pointed out that in the guise of valid transactions, the purchasers are occupying the residential and commercial site out of the Gair-Mukam (Pahar) land. He had wrote that due to connectivity of the area to Delhi, influential persons of Delhi and Faridabad had purchased land here and had started construction activities. Villagers are also interested in sale as the area which was earlier used for grazing is now fetching premium price further pointing that aim of consolidation is to ensure legal possession of particular area purchased from shareholders.

Until consolidation is done it cannot be said which partiucular area belongs to which shareholder. At that time a large number of sale deeds of land were registered by the revenue department. Rao had pointed out that looking at registration deeds and from revenue record it can be said that it is not possible to demarcate the area purchased without partitioning the land.

Rao had wrote that it is not possible to carry out consolidation in a village where the land is mostly Gair Mumkin (Pahar).He had wrote that the consolidation operation is meant for consolidating the scattered land peices and not for partitioning the GairMumkin Pahar which is already in a much consolidated form.The whistleblower has wrote that to wash out hands off these doubtful activites and to keep the clean image of the Govt. the consolidation work should be stopped in the village and the notification may be withdrawn. After conducting enquirty into transfers of Shamlat Deh lands in village Anangpur in Faridabad district Rao had wrote to the Govt. that whole affairs appears to be like a shady land deal and the complicity of the revenue and consolidation staff is not ruled out. Rao had requested the Govt. that there is urgent need to have a closer look at the whole affair at the highest level so that these clandestine activities and unauthories urbanizatio of the hillocks is stopped.But instead of acting on his recommendations this whistleblower was transferred.

Rest is part of history as since then powerful builder lobby has grown as a pressure group capable of even drafting land policies of the Govt. In due time Rao got promoted to I.A.S rank and after retirement he is settled in Gurgaon filing applications under R.T.I. Act and working for Aam Aadami Party.

When approached for comments Rao recalled the whole affair and told that unofficaily he was told at that time powers that be at that time were interested in consolidation of land to help the influential persons. Recalled that even Delhi Govt.has argued that if hills in N.C.R. area in Haryana are denotified leading to urbanization it will advesly affect environment in the national capital.