Save Trees: 24 private luxury apartments on the grave of hundreds of trees

Himachal Watcher visited the spot where DFL has been given NOC to 6,650 square meter land in a thick forest for building 24 luxury apartments.

In a country like India, where political and economically powerful personalities have sold their souls to the God of Greed and all matters is the wealth they have in their lockers or in Swiss banks. The money plus political power means monopoly. For instance, how powerful and monopolistic a person can be if he has relations to the powerful family with great political background, have assets more than that of Mr. Ambani, and is partner with DLF Limited, India’s largest real estate conglomerate. Let me site a recent example.

Bemloe Development and Infrastructure Company asked for the permission to build 24 super luxury villas on a land in Shimla, in the middle of a dense forest, the whole construction plan granted permission in a single day. Now, if a common man approaches with a small construction plan to government departments like MC and Forest, then he’ll have wander in government offices for months. Even if the ruling government can justify the allotment of the land, how the forest department and the Commissioner issued no objection to the road, which was proposed by the builders to link their luxury villa site with the bypass road. If you ever notice, the area is covered with a thick population of Deodar trees and the spot of construction is visible from popular spots of Shimla city. The NOC given to 6,650 square meter land in a thick forest for building luxury apartments is in itself a violation.

Even the opposition proposed a spot inspection so that the matter could be resolved in a single day. When the controversy gained attention in Vidhan Sabha, the respected Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal ordered an enquiry into the matter referring it for a review to Vidhan Sabha Committee. However, all the reports were found ok, no violation of rules was found, and the permission was granted under 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act for free sale. Well, we can’t be sure, but there are a few coincident, which raise big questions. First, that the Bemloe is a front of DLF builders, biggest real estate firm of India, and second is that Robert Vadra, partners with DLF, is the son & law of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Moved by a great concern for environment and the fate of Shimla’s greenery, we couldn’t ignore the matter, like it was ignored by the government and by so called guardians of laws. Himachal Watcher visited the construction site of DLF’s luxury apartments in order to measure its impact on forest. What we observed was shocking and stunned us. We have uploaded 50 images, depicting a cruel massacre, with this article.

While we walked towards the construction site, we found that the small path, which was initially used to go through the forest by local residents, was widened by cutting the hill to make a way for heavy vehicles, so that the transportation of construction materials could be facilitated. We can’t say how many trees, which blocked their way, disappeared during that period, but the condition of those near to the road is very poor. Due to the cutting of hill, great amount of soil was removed. While protection of trees was not an important issue, it was done very brutally. Wounds on many trees were still fresh, which the Jaws of JCB gave them and many others are ready to fall a victim to the planned slow killing.

Many trees are losing grip on the ground as the soil has been removed over their roots and it’s certain that next rain season will witness falling of many trees, which will not be questioned as it occurred due natural calamities. Have a look at the pictures carefully and you’ll see roots of trees, which are either cut down or hanging out and have dried.

When we reached the construction site, the work was in progress with great enthusiasm, which we never witnessed when such a construction work has been commission under a government policy related to the welfare of the public. We wonder if someone can find such a great patch without a single tree in the middle of a dense forest. There is a picture and video that shows trunk of tree partially visible while the JCB is at work. We wonder, who buried it in the middle of construction site? Moreover, when the apartments will be ready and sold, it is obvious that the road to these luxury apartments will widened to make a smooth way for the exotic vehicles of the wealthy owners of these luxury villas. We fear the forest will suffer a lot in future too.

It’s not the first time such an act of violation took place in Himachal. In a similar case, 1,000 trees were axed in Solan for a project belonging to Optima Constructions, which was granted permission without any concern for the agriculture land.

HW requests all the citizens to show concern for their motherland and unite to stand against such monopolistic acts of government before they destroy the beauty and peace of our wonderful Shimla. We are ignoring the obvious flaws in our political and economical culture and as a result of that most of the people in India are suffering from poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Don’t wait for some leader to take initiative, but be the first to initiate. By tolerating and ignoring the oblivious flaws in our system, we are promoting the culture of corruption. Anyone can criticize, but initiative for reforms is the last thing in our minds.

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There are 13 comments

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  1. Tikender

    there is already a writ pending in the high court challenging the illegal construction. interestingly the forest department too is saving the the construction company. 

  2. Sunny Thakur

    bhaut bura haal hai is Dhumal and sons ne sab kuch sell kr diya shame on govt 🙁 ek terf to boltay hai “Save Trees Save Himachal” or 2sri terf yeh karnama in sab ke to investigation honi chaiya…

  3. Mahesh Thakur

    Private Universities,DLF Project,Fight For Annadale For cricket Stadium,Hotel Destination Sale Purchase,Property on Mall Near BSNL Office,3rd Class CLF distributed,Now Induction Cooker Who is going to pay the electricity bill n one more question yeh “INDUCTION COOKER ” kis say khridane hai is mai bhi koi______hai?

  4. Akash

    It’s really heartbreaking seeing such a big hole in a densely populated forest , I can actually see this site from my place and. It is really a shame! and they call them selves leaders of our State no modesty at all! Strict actions should be taken against who ever is involved in this. I don’t know if it already exists, But there should some sort of special body for this in the system which strictly makes everyone to plant at least double the number of trees that they bring down on their sites and should be reported on annual basis.

  5. Ayush

    thanks for bringing this out…
    i guess this site is near hussain valley??

    criticism is born when the idealist inside breaks down due to the system.. its like.. maine b karke dekhli hai desh bhakti, ab tu kon aya h revolution vala
    maybe its like, jo log movie director nahi bn pate, vo critic bn jaate hain, movie ki galtiyaan nikalte hain..

    but it is said that a critic is like dettol, causing a burning feeling at the wounds, highlighting your faults, painful indeed, but essential to wipe them out.. to improve, to heal.

    but agar chhote se cut pe hi sara dettol lga do, toh b koi fayda ni hota, nahi?

    bhot zada dettol
    refer: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=617453841614344&set=a.550582528301476.144021.149942821698784&type=1&ref=nf

    so maybe instead of criticism, some apreciation and suggestions can work better

    • Aanchal Sood

      Wish the same but it’s not possible. The entire human race will have to face the dire consequences along with the innocent souls.

  6. Aanchal Sood

    Well we can see shimla is already a concrete jungle. What do people from other places come and visit Hill stations for? Societies that are not even fully occupied or cleared land and haphazard construction?
    Mindless greedy people all they want is to make money. I had filed an online complaint of people cutting the pine trees in the dense forested area below lower kaithu. Roads have been recklessly curved, trees fallen and people taking advantage as no one bothers checking. I had written a mail twice and called the concerned forest officials which fell on deaf ears. Now people have 3-4 of their cars parked, open verandas and more constructions with buildings being built on top of one another with speed.
    Huge chestnut tree has been cut from nearby the road for construction of a building near the Auckland tunnel. The owner being a mla no one has dared to show any kind of concern or file a complaint against him. He openly has been dumping all the sand nearby where otherwise dumping is banned.
    India is one of the richest biodiversity area and we shall soon lose everything only bcz of selfish politicans and men with power N money.

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