Soon-to-be-married couples are feeling the jitters in Gurgaon. And these are not pre-wedding blues. The decision of the Gurgaon administration to demolish 20 farmhouses, often used to host wedding functions, near the Indian Air Force ammunition depot on the Old Delhi road has left people who have booked these venues in a tizzy.
The demolition drive is scheduled to start from Thursday and is expected to affect as many as 200 marriages scheduled to be held in the coming months. The administration plans to remove illegal constructions in 50-metre periphery of the ammunition depot in a phased manner.
“By booking halls for weddings, farmhouse owners cannot escape demolition. Any illegal construction that has come up in the area would be removed. There are residential complexes also but we would first demolish the farmhouses,” Gurgaon deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria said.
The use of crackers and fireworks during weddings can prove to be fatal with the ammunition depot nearby and this is said to be one of the prime reasons why authorities want to remove these farmhouses.
“Every farmhouse is booked for the next one month. If the authority starts the demolition drive, it will affect several people who will find it difficult to arrange an alternative venue at the last moment,” said OP Kataria, owner of Natraj Greens.
As per the Indian Air Force Act and defence property rules, no construction is allowed within 1,000 yards (900 metres) from the boundary wall of the ammunition depot.
In the past few years, several illegal colonies have come up on the prohibited zone despite the IAF asking the administration to crack down on the violators.
In the past, IAF officials have also complained that apart from various illegal colonies, parts of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) sectors 14, 17 and 18 too fall within the prohibited zone.
A large number of farmhouses, too, have come up opposite the Maruti unit on Old Delhi Road. According to records of district town planner (enforcement), the farmhouses fall under the area demarcated as forest zone as per the development plan. After repeated complaints, the district administration decided not to regularise the colonies.
“I have asked the Municipal Corporation not to recommend the case of illegal colonies close to the ammunition depot for regularisation,” Kataria said.