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News: Nurseries, shops, markets and waste: Squatters choke Gurugram’s green belts-06-09-2021


GURUGRAM: Plant nurseries, eateries and shops have encroached upon several green belts across the city, including those along Golf Course Road (Extension), Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), the road dividing sectors 9 and 9A, Ardee City and sectors 82, 84 and 92, among others.

According to locals, street vendors organise vegetable markets in some green belts on Wednesdays and Sundays.

A visit to Golf Course Road (Extension) on Saturday by TOI also revealed that construction and demolition (C&D) waste is being dumped at a green belt near a construction site along the road, while some green belts have been fenced for protection.

“Over the years, I have been noticing that green belts along Golf Course Road (Extension) have been encroached upon and are frequently used for dumping C&D waste and other mixed waste. We have brought it to the notice of authorities several times and given photographic evidence as well,” said Ruchika Sethi, a resident.

Squatters have also taken over green belts in several new sectors.

“In sectors 84 and 92, vendors set up vegetable markets every Wednesday and Sunday in green belts. The Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) should focus on the redevelopment of such areas and the department of town and country planning (DTCP) should also remove hawkers from green belts,” said Praveen Malik, vice-president and spokesperson of United Association of New Gurgaon, a residents’ group.

Another new sector resident, Dharamveer Singh, who is also the RWA president of Mapsko Casa Bella in Sector 82, said: “The green belt extending from Ansal Hub in Sector 83 to Mapsko Paradise has been fully encroached. Illegal workshops, tea stalls and small eateries are operating there.”
When asked, Subhash Yadav, head of GMDA’s urban environment division, GMDA, said they have removed nurseries, food stalls and other squatters from green belts several times.

“The squatters won’t encroach once the fencing of the green belts is done. We have already started fencing green belts. Our focus in the first phase will be the central verge and then the roadsides,” he said.

Yadav also said SPR will be revamped and the redevelopment of green belts will be a part of the project.

“The problem that we are facing with the green belts in new sectors is that the other agencies are still laying pipelines for water, sewerage and other connections. In Sector 67, someone dug up the entire plantation for a power connection,” he added.

Some residents said green belts are also being used to dump C&D waste.

“Construction waste has been dumped at the green belt near gate number 1 of Ardee City for around a year now. I have seen trucks from the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) dumping the waste and we also filed complaints in February, but the authorities have failed to check it,” claimed Chaitali Mandhotra, a resident of Ardee City.

Meanwhile, MCG joint commissioner (headquarters) Hariom Attri said it is quite likely that someone is using MCG’s name on its trucks and dumping waste illegally.

“We will get this checked and an action will be taken against those dumping C&D waste illegally. We started an enforcement drive on Saturday and seized 12 trucks that were illegally dumping C&D waste across the city,” he said.

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