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    Haryana’s Alternative Land Offer to Chandigarh Amid ESZ Concerns: Exploring the Intricacies

    Haryana’s Alternative Land Offer to Chandigarh Amid Eco-Sensitive Zone Concerns

    In a recent development that has sparked discussions and deliberations, Haryana has stepped forward with an offer to provide alternative land to Chandigarh. This proposal comes in response to concerns surrounding the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) and its implications for construction within the region. Let’s dive into the details of this situation, unraveling the intricacies of the land exchange and its political significance.

    Navigating the Eco-Sensitive Zone Restrictions

    The backdrop of this offer lies within the ambit of Supreme Court directives that dictate the parameters for construction within an eco-sensitive zone. The verdict strictly prohibits the construction of permanent structures within the ESZ. Additionally, no commercial constructions are permitted within a 0.5 km radius outside the ESZ. In the zone extending from 0.5 km to 1.25 km, construction is permissible, albeit limited to low-density, low-rise buildings of up to 15 feet. Beyond the 1.25 km threshold, new building construction, including residential houses, is allowed.

    Haryana’s Land Offering: The Chessboard Moves

    Amid these regulations, Haryana has proposed a 12-acre land offering situated in Saketri village of Panchkula. This land is intended to be exchanged for the 10 acres that the Union Territory (UT) is providing to the state for the construction of an additional assembly building. However, a twist in the tale emerged when the UT administration raised concerns regarding the suitability of the offered land due to its location within the eco-sensitive zone.

    The Concerns Echoed and Reiterated

    UT adviser Dharam Pal emphasized the UT’s stance, stating that the land would be rejected if it fell within the eco-sensitive zone, rendering it practically useless. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) echoed these sentiments, asserting that the land’s position within an eco-sensitive zone diminishes its practical value. This sentiment is rooted in last year’s rejection of the CHB’s housing project in IT Park by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), which cited the land’s eco-sensitive classification as the primary reason.

    A Willingness to Reevaluate

    In response to these concerns, the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) administrator Sujan Singh assured that the issue is being examined closely. If the land indeed lies within an eco-sensitive zone, the HSVP is prepared to offer an alternative parcel of land bordering Chandigarh, aligning with the preferences of the UT administration.

    Political Implications and Symbolism

    This exchange of land holds significant political symbolism, tracing its origins to Haryana’s demand for greater representation within Chandigarh’s existing Vidhan Sabha. This demand is fueled by the anticipated increase in the number of assembly seats following the 2026 delimitation exercise. Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the allocation of land to Haryana during the 30th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Jaipur on July 9, 2022.

    However, this move is not without its challenges. Punjab, the parent state from which Haryana was carved out in 1966, opposes Haryana’s request for additional land. Chandigarh, as the shared capital, becomes a focal point of contention. Punjab perceives concessions granted to Haryana within Chandigarh as a potential weakening of its influence over the Union Territory.


    In the heart of this land exchange lies a complex interplay of legal regulations, political aspirations, and regional dynamics. As Haryana navigates the terrain of ESZ restrictions, the fate of this land exchange remains to be seen. The outcome will not only impact the physical landscape but also potentially reshape the power dynamics between these neighboring states.


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