Gurugram villagers claim ‘vilayati babool’ trees drying Aravallis, depleting groundwater level

Residents of Gairatpur Baas and Mohammadpur Gujar villages say that 75 to 80% concentration of mesquite or Vilayti Babool trees in the region led to extreme water scarcity so much so that wild life in the region has started encroaching into the villages for water.
Mesquite, or Vilayti Babool trees, which have a huge presence in the Aravallis, have been an impediment to the villagers in an already water-scarce region, says Amit Rathi, a villager from Gairatpur Baas who actively works for the wildlife in the region.
However, this led to extreme water scarcity in the region, so much so that animals depending on the naturally available water started encroaching into the villages for water.
On May 15, a one-and-a-half year old leopard was found dead in Gairatpur Baas, near the pit constructed by the villagers, as it had ventured into the area in search of water.
Having grown mango, green apple, walnut, lemon, chickoo, mausambi, pears and other trees on his 4-acre plot, Vats has proved that the region is conducive for the growth of all sorts of vegetation, even plants which grow in colder regions.
“All sorts of vegetation can grow in the Aravallis, but it does take some effort from the forest department.
However the forest department said that they were not notified about this.
However, acclaimed environmentalist, author and filmmaker Pradip Krishen said that high water consumption by the Vilayti Babool trees is not such an issue here.
Krishen, however, agreed that Vilayti Babool is an invasive species and is a menace for other vegetation in the region.
Last year, the forest department had passed an order stating that permission would not be required to clear mesquite (videshi babool) and kikar trees in the Aravallis.

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