While Gurgaon signifies plush high-rises, opulent office buildings and swanky malls, Mangar Bani — in the Aravalli forest area of Faridabad district — represents the last green mile between a smoke-filled Delhi and a city that has had too much construction.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and some senior top officials of Faridabad paid a visit to this green haven yesterday and assured the locals of protecting the area by declaring it a notified forest land.
Speaking on the meeting, environmentalist Chetan Agarwal said, “We appreciate Khattar’s interest in protecting Mangar Bani and its buffer zone. The time has come to notify Mangar Bani as a sanctuary or national park. He agreed with our views that this forest is a rare zone and needs government attention.”
Mangar Bani is the last and the only remaining virgin forest area of Delhi-NCR, spread over 1,300 acres spanning three villages of Kot, Bandwari and Mangar. It is the preserve of the local Gujjar community and home to a variety of birds, both indigenous and migratory.
In a statement released by the state government, the CM assured: “With a view to keep the environmental and ecological balance in the national capital region, the Haryana government would make policies for the protection of Mangar Bani located in the Aravalli forest area of the district Faridabad.”
It further read: “In deference to the demand of people of this area to convert the uncultivable wasteland of Mangar Bani into a significant forest area, a meeting would be held soon for formulating policies and taking decisions.”
Mangar Bani was declared a no-construction zone by the Haryana government in June 2016. The measure would keep out encroachment from 677.12 acres of Mangar Bani and its buffer area of 1,266.91 acres.