The Noida Authority has sent demolition notices to 350 people who own farmhouses built illegally in the Yamuna and Hindon floodplains. Most of these farmhouses are situated near the posh Noida Sector 135.
The authority said the farmhouse owners only had seven days to raze the concrete structures or face action.
“Our team will, with the help of police, demolish the illegal buildings on the floodplains of the Yamuna and the Hindon if their owners don’t do so in the next seven days,” said Vijay Kumar Yadav, who is the deputy chief executive officer of the authority.
The authority is in the process of issuing notices to the farmhouse owners and launching a drive against them following an order from the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Javed Usmani, who has instructed officials in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad to clear the floodplains of encroachments.
The action against the illegal structures comes in the wake of the natural calamity in the neighbouring Uttarakhand.
The Akhilesh Yadav government had issued orders for the demolition of the farmhouses earlier as well.
Senior minister Shivpal Yadav was among those who had called for the demolition drive. The district magistrate and other officials, however, did not take steps to rid the region of the encroachments.
“This time, however, chief secretary Usmani has hinted that officials could be penalised if they did not follow the order.
The state government is serious for two reasons: the National Green Tribunal’s ruling that illegal structures be removed, and the Uttarakhand tragedy,” said an Uttar Pradesh official who did not want to be named.
The government’s posturing could well be in vain, however.
The demolition of the structures will not be easy for the authority and the irrigation department, sources said, because several senior Delhi police officers, bureaucrats and “influential” people are among the owners of the farmhouses in the region.
“The farmhouses and other construction on the floodplains of the Yamuna and the Hindon in Noida may cause a disaster as they have changed the flow of the Yamuna and polluted the region to a great extent,” said environmentalist Akash Vashishth.
“We will raze all illegal construction by July 5,” said Yadav.