Fearing backlash from the public over environmental concerns, the Haryana government has backtracked from its proposal to build a road through the core and buffer zones of Aravalis and Mangar Bani. The road would have adversely impacted one of the biggest forested patches in the state, and disrupted a wildlife corridor. The state government is already facing protests in the city over a proposed road through the Aravali Biodiversity Park in the city.
State PWD minister Rao Narbir Singh issued a statement in this regard on Thursday. “Though the proposal was prepared in view of public demand to ease traffic , if people don’t need it, we’ll not take up construction on this proposed route. The proposal has been turned down by the department,” he said.
TOI on Thursday had reported that the proposed road would start near Bandhwari and go up to Damdama lake cutting through Aravali and Mangar Bani. The same day, Narbir said PWD is not going to build any road from Bandhwari to Sohna via Damdama and Mangar. Government employees, wishing to remain anonymous, said they believe it’s time the government came up with legislation to ensure such projects are never greenlighted in future. “It’s about time Aravalis get some protection, as it’s an extremely sensitive area and must be preserved,” said a forest department official.
Mangar Bani is one of the richest non-fragmented green patches in Aravali in the diverse wildlife it supports. According to a Wildlife Institute of India study, it has the most number of leopards, along with the highest density of nine other species — including hyenas, jackals, foxes, jungle cats, porcupines and mongoose — in south Haryana. “Mangar Bani is the largest patch of Aravalis without a road. Several studies have proved it’s the forest in south Haryana with the richest flora and fauna. Hence, it’s extremely important to conserve it,” said environmentalist Chetan Agarwal.