On March 1, 2019, the Supreme Court stayed the amendment to the 119yearold Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), admonishing the Haryana government for passing the amendment bill in "sheer contempt of court". The apex court termed the government's move a "misadventure" and accused it of destroying tforests. Environmentalists hailed the court's order while property owners and real estate developers objected to the verdict. According to a news report, the amended law, if passed, would legalise more than 100 farmhouses/banquet halls constructed on forestland in Faridabad.
According to environmentalists, the destruction of the forests will disturb native trees and herbs, migratory birds and wildlife. A Hindustan Times report attributes experts as saying that this will severely threaten water security in the National Capital Region, increase desertification from Rajasthan and exacerbate air pollution.
According to the Forest Survey of India assessment of 2017, Haryana has the smallest forest cover in the country3.59 per cent of its geographical area.
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