New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Haryana government to not enact a law which allows for real estate construction in Aravalli forests.

According to ANI, the apex court told the state government, “It is really shocking. You are destroying the forest. It is not permissible.”

The Opposition in Haryana has been up in arms against the amendment of some provisions of Punjab Land Preservation Act which allow construction in Aravalli forests. The amendment is to impact the protected Aravallis forests in the National Capital Region (NCR).

While Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in the Assembly that amending the old Act was “the need of the hour since much has changed over time,” the Opposition reportedly alleged that the decision “reeked of a multi-crore scam”.

The Act was introduced in 1900 before Partition by then Punjab government. The law provided for the conservation of subsoil water and/or prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

The Opposition had claimed that Haryana has less than 7 per cent forest cover and the Aravallis help in maintaining ecology in the NCR as well as Delhi. Further, it said, the legal amendment will give sanction to the unauthorised constructions that came up since 1966 as the new law will come into force with retrospective effect.