NEW DELHI: Three real estate companies on Wednesday asked not to be made party to a case before the National Green Tribunal related to changing of land use in Mangar forest.
The companies had allegedly filed 90 applications with the Faridabad tehsildar to convert a large portion of land from non-cultivable or gair mumkin to agricultural land. They had claimed that they owned the land and were also growing wheat and paddy on it.
An NGT bench had recently ordered a stay on changing of land use in the forested area and had directed the environment and forest ministry and the Haryana government to file a report in the matter.
However, on Wednesday, the counsel for the three companies sought to be excused from being made party to the case. The bench, while removing the firms, said they have to be bound to future orders.
"The court has asked them to follow rules and not chop down trees," said a lawyer for the Haryana government and the environmentalists who had challenged the change in land use.
The government counsel claimed that a survey of the forest in the Aravalis—off the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway—revealed that 90 of the 440 acres of land is irrigated or agricultural land.
However, the applicant and other environmentalists had claimed the survey was incorrect and that this area is rocky and mostly scrub forest.