GURGAON: The Haryana government's ambitious plan to conserve the Aravalis by drawing up a master plan for the region, which was initiated by the state's forest minister Captain Abhimanyu, may have been put in cold storage. Soon after he announced it, the portfolio passed on to Badshapur MLA Rao Narbir Singh.
Two months ago, Captain Abhimanyu had announced a decision to prepare a master plan to conserve groundwater, amid widespread concern about lack of safeguards for the fragile ecosystem of the hills, and the constant threat from mining and real estate activity, especially in Gurgaon.
Senior forest department officials told TOI there has been no progress in the last two months. "So far, we haven't got any official communication from the government about the framing of theproposed master plan," said a senior forest department official on condition of anonymity.
While announcing the Haryana government's plan at a seminar on June 5 on "Aravallis: Past, Present and Future," Captain Abhimanyu had said, "If our scale tilts between infrastructural development and conservation of environment, we will make sure it tilts more towards the environment than towards development."
But soon after the plan was mooted, the forest ministry was given to Rao Narbir. The change of guard has apparently resulted in the state government relegating the master plan to the backburner. A senior official told TOI that Narbir had met department officials on Sunday but made no mention of the master plan.
"The new minister spoke of saving greenery in the Aravalis and recharging groundwater levels, but there was no mention of the master plan," said the official. He added that in the absence of any state government initiative, the forest department will take steps to conserve groundwater. "We plan to put in place earthen water recharge dams in Firozpur Jhirka, Ghamdoj and Sirohi village in the first phase," he said.
Rao Narbir Singh remained unavailable for comments, despite repeated attempts.