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2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021
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2013.10.17 mgd letter to mo ef request to examine rp 2021

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  • 1. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 A people’s movement for good governance ® GURGAON DEVELOPMENT To: Dr V Rajagopalan, I.A.S., Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003 17thOctober 2013 Email ID : vrg.iyer@nic.in Fax : 91- 11-24362746 Telephone No. : 91- 11-24360721 Dear Sir, Sub:Review by MoEF on Draft Revision of the Regional Plan 2021, prepared by the NCR Planning Board, for which public comments were due Aug 30th 2013. 1. The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) is currently undertaking an exercise of revising the Regional Plan 2021, for which the public comment period ended on August 30th 2013. We have grave concerns about the dilution of environmental safeguards in this revision process, as well as additional environmental gaps. These dilutions and gaps will lead to loss of eco-sensitive areas in the NCR, and damage the strategic ecological assets of the NCR – especially the Aravalli ranges and river beds, and irreversibly impact groundwater recharge capacity and drinking water security, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and drastically reduce the natural adaptive capacity of the NCR region to climate change impacts. Accordingly we request MOEF to examine the current Regional Plan 2021, the Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021 at a priority basis, Page 1 and provide their inputs from a technical and statutory perspective. The details are as follows. 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 2. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 A people’s movement for good governance ® GURGAON DEVELOPMENT The Regional Plan 2. The Regional Plan 2021 is prepared basis the statutory mandate of the NCRPB Act, 1985. a. The objective of the Regional Plan is to control landuses, avoid haphazard development and promote balanced growth and development in the NCR. b. Chapter IV, Section 10, sub-section 2, of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985, states that, “The Regional Plan shall indicate the manner in which the land in the National Capital Region shall be used, whether by carrying out development thereon or by conservation or otherwise” (emphasis added). 3. It is thus, clear, that the Regional Plan is a very important instrument in deciding on lands that need to be conserved, through control of landuse and determining the zoning and policy proposals for ensuring conservation of eco-sensitive areas such as the Aravalli ranges, Yamuna and other river flood plains, and allocating land for forests etc. 4. Indeed, the Regional Plan 2021 provides for a Natural Conservation Zone which covers the Aravalli Range in the NCR, river beds and flood plans, etc, and this Natural Conservation Zone has a limit on construction of 0.5%, that Page 2 effectively zones this area for conservation and precludes construction. 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 3. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 A people’s movement for good governance ® GURGAON DEVELOPMENT 5. The NCRPB is currently finalising a revision of the Regional Plan 2021. Accordingly, the NCRPB had prepared a Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021 which was put out for public comment by August 30, 2013- it is now engaged in the process of compiling the comments and objections from various quarters for a final review prior to notification. The Regional Plan 2021 revised draft - dilutions and gaps 6. Based on a comparison of the currently in-force Regional Plan 2021 with the proposed revised draft of the Regional Plan 2021, we find that there are serious gaps and omissions in the Regional Plan 2021 with respect to the conservation of Aravalli hills, other environmentally sensitive areas, and other environmental matters. What is worse is that the limited environmental safeguards in the current Regional Plan 2021, are being further sought to be diluted and/or removed, in the Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021. 7. Having inspected the relevant files of the NCRPB, under the RTI Act, 2005, we find that without verifiable inputs from any traceable competent authority / technical experts at the Centre/States or from Research groups/ NGOs/ Academics, key safeguards for environmental/biodiversity protection have been diluted or/and removed. 8. The Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021 is littered with small Page 3 and large changes. As the NCRPB has not provided any summary listing of the proposed changes, any review would 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 4. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 ® GURGAON A people’s movement for good governance DEVELOPMENT ideally require a line by line comparative reading of the current Regional Plan 2021, and the Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021, to identify the deletions and additions. 9. For your convenience, we list here some of the Key environmental safeguards in the current Regional Plan 2021, that are being diluted in the Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021: a. Deletion of restriction on construction of 0.5% in the Natural Conservation Zone. (Chapter 17, Section 17.5.3 of current RP 2021) b. Removal of line that states, “No such activities should be undertaken in the Aravalli range in NCR.”, in section 14.2.(ix) of current RP 2021 which in effect extends Aravalli notification (issued my MoEF on 7 May 1992), to Faridabad and Delhi in Aravalli notification c. Inclusion of development guidelines in Conservation Plan provisions, that would in effect allow real estate and other development through the Conservation Plans. d. Land Suitability Analysis is a key step in identifying eco-sensitive areas for conservation within urban areas. However the revision limits Page 4 Land Suitability Analysis to new towns, thus in fact, gutting this requirement as most growth in 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 5. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 A people’s movement for good governance ® GURGAON DEVELOPMENT the NCR is via expansion of existing towns, which would now be excluded from this provision. 10.In addition, other environmental concerns and gaps with respect to the Revised Draft Regional Plan 2021: a. Decline of forest cover, yet no reservation of areas for forest. b. Forest cover diluted to green cover. c. Flood risk – due to sand mining etc in river beds, but no proposal for areas off limits to sand mining, and other areas for sustainable sand mining in the river beds and flood plains d. Issue of drinking water security and carrying capacity, and identification of Aravallis, as an important groundwater recharge zone, as has been asserted by the MoEF under oath in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the MC Mehta case in 2008 (in WPC 4677 of 1985). e. The Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered a “ban on mining activity and pumping of groundwater imposed in an area upto 5 km from Delhi-Haryana border on the Haryana side of ridge and Aravalli hills.” (order dated 6.5.2002 in WPC 4677 of 1985). The implication of this order is that no exploitation of Page 5 groundwater and digging of borewells can be permitted in the 5 km zone from the Delhi border and 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 6. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 ® GURGAON A people’s movement for good governance DEVELOPMENT falling in Haryana Aravalli hills. This needs to be reflected in the Regional Plan 2021. f. Wildlife Habitat and Corridors need to be identified g. Eco Sensitive zones in the buffer of Asola sanctuary need to be identified both in Delhi and in the Haryana side. h. The Mangar Sacred grove and an essential buffer need to be identified and zoned as a no-construction zone. i. Concerns regarding hazardous and solid waste disposal in ground water recharge zones and ecosensitive areas. 11.Prima facie, these proposed changes will dilute the National Conservation Zone provisions and open up recorded forests, as well as yet to be identified deemed forests as per dictionary meaning, qua Godavarman 12.12.96 & 06.07.11 judgments, in Southern Haryana and elsewhere, for nonforest activities, in contravention of Section 2(ii) of the Forest Conservation Act. 12.MoEF may also exercise its wide-ranging powers to restrict activities under the Environment Protection Act, 1996 (specifically, Section 3(1) and 3(2) (v) of the EPA, 1986 Page 6 and Rule 5 (3)(d) of the Rules, 1986. 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 7. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 ® GURGAON A people’s movement for good governance DEVELOPMENT 13.When small and large real estate projects covering mere tens of hectares require Environmental Review and Clearance under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, it will be a travesty if a Regional Plan covering thousands of square kilometers including highly ecosensitive zones such as the Aravallis is permitted to be revised, with likely massive negative impacts on the environmental sustainability and carrying capacity of Delhi NCR, without any environmental review and input from the MoEF. 14.This is a recipe for disaster and negates the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle, intergenerational equity, carrying capacity as well as the various international protocols on biodiversity and green house gas emissions that India has signed, i.e. Convention on Biological Diversity ratified by India on 18.02.94, Convention to Combat Desertification ratified by India on 17.12.96, Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer acceded to by India on 03.03.03, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants ratified by India on 13.04.06, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ratified by India on 01.11.93, 26.08.02, & Decision 5/CP.17 at Conference of the Parties on its seventeenth session, held in Durban from Page 7 28 November to 11 December 2011 which was attended by 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   
  • 8. mission Reg No: DR/GGN/291 of 2010-11 A people’s movement for good governance ® GURGAON DEVELOPMENT H.E. Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests, India. 15.You are therefore requested to review these and other aspects that are critical to the strategic environment sustainability of the NCR region, to the NCRPB. 16.You are also requested to ask the NCRPB to keep its revised draft Regional Plan 2021 on hold till it is reviewed by the MoEF. 17.We will be happy to share our analysis with the MoEF and request a personal hearing for the same. A copy of the suggestions and objections filed with the NCRPB are attached for your reference (Annex 1). For Mission Gurgaon Development Lt Col (Retd) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi Treasurer Page 8 About Mission Gurgaon Development Mission Gurgaon Development (MGD) is a people’s movement launched by the residents of Gurgaon against inadequacies in governance and resultant poor development in Gurgaon. Our vision is to ensure that Gurgaon becomes an epitome of urban living, affording a nurturing quality of life to its empowered citizens. The goal is to usher in reforms in local governance, through implementation of the 73rd/74th Constitutional Amendment Act. MGD is the first and only think-tank in Gurgaon that works for and advocates for systemic changes in governance based on decentralization, accountability, transparency, and participation of citizens in governance decisions. 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon; Tel: 9312404269, 9818768349, 9871628217; E-mail: missiongurgaondevelopment@gmail.com Governing Council: Vinay Shankar, Patron, Former Secretary, Govt of India Devinder Chopra, Patron, UN retiree Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, President, Vice Chairman IESM Dr Nalini Bhargava, Vice President, Educationist Dr Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Secretary, Development professional Col Sarvadaman Oberoi, Treasurer, RTI activist Vakul Cowshik, Member, Social worker     www.missiongurgaondevelopment.org   

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