New Delhi: Activist Swami Agnivesh on Friday alleged that Haryana government was working in favour of real estate major DLF and urged the Supreme Court to intervene in a matter of use of forest land for recreational use. He told a press conference that the SC-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has made recommendations contrary to law favouring a leisure project being developed by a leading real estate developer DLF Limited.
He alleged that Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Haryana State Industrial development Corporation (HSIDC) had acquired 350.72 acres of land in Wazirpur village in Gurgaon for a recreation and leisure project. Though about 278 acre, belonging to village panchayat, was acquired by HSIDC in 2003 at the public expense but the same was allotted to DLF Limited on acceptance of bid.
As per the law the environment and other clearance by the bidder but in this case it was the responsibility of the government, he said. "Instead of approaching Ministry of Environment and Forests for necessary clearance, the state government approached Supreme Court by filing Interlocutory Application in a pending public interest litigation relating to forests and environment before it seeking permission to use the land for development of recreational and leisure project," Agnivesh said, adding this way state government took responsibility of getting the environmental clearances for the project.
The CEC report clearly reflected the "prior understanding" between its members and the state bureaucracy, he alleged. The CEC filed its report recommending the use of said land for recreational and leisure purpose on certain terms and conditions, which were contrary to the law. Incidentally, the CEC had recommended cancellation of a defence project of national interest by the Defence Research and Development Organisation in Baikal on the ground of existence of forest and later on the same land it had recommended to permit the DLF to carry out compensatory forestation, he claimed.
He demanded that the SC should take up the matter filed in March 2011 at the earliest. He also demanded that the land should be returned back to village and the apex court should initiate a probe by Special Investigation Team on the CEC members for their alleged role in giving permission.