The clash between the police and slum dwellers on Monday could have been averted had the UT administration checked the growth of illegal settlements on shamlat (common or panchayat) land at kachi Colony in Dhanas which came up over the past 18 months.
The colony, which had around 100 houses till November 2013, now has more 1,000 hutments and is home to around 3,000 people. Most of the dwellers are those who were displaced from Colony Number 5 and Kashmiri Colony, Sector 29, in 2013.
As many of the displaced families were not rehabilitated by the authorities, they started encroaching upon the 50 acres of shamlat land in Dhanas.
Some dwellers have even constructed concrete houses on the land.The issue was also raised by municipal corporation councillors in the October 2014 House meeting and they also apprised deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin of the illegal constructions in Dhanas, but to no avail.
However, in a delayed reaction, the UT administration issued eviction order to the slum dwellers last week.
Dhanas sarpanch Kuljeet Singh told HT that in spite of being warned, the slum dwellers encroached upon the land. “Even the UT administration didn’t bother to check the illegal settlements despite our repeated requests.” He said that three panchayat members have even built concrete houses on the shamlat and have given the same on rent.
The crime graph in the area has also shot up over the year, added Kuljeet. The slum dwellers have also illegally accessed power and water connections.
Deputy commissioner SB Deepak Kumar admitted that the slum dwellers encroached upon the village land over the past 18 months. He, however, remained mum when asked why no action was taken against violators.