At least 45 families in Delhi Cantonment are faced with eviction after the Cantonment Board and Defence Estate Office served them showcause notices over charges of encroachment and illegal construction.
Legislator Karan Singh Tanwar, however, claimed the number of families handed out the notices, which were issued under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971, was much higher at 100.
“The residents have been asked to answer for their encroachment on government land. If they fail to give satisfactory replies, they can even be evicted,” said an official of the board.
Residents who are living in the shadow of demolition have said that any construction in the area is being treated as “encroachment” due to the absence of a policy governing repair, maintenance and construction of buildings.
“The area was developed in the 1940s and since then, the population has grown. People have demolished the original structures that were made of kaccha materials. In the absence of a regularisation policy, 90% of this area has become unauthorised,” said Col PK Upmanyu, president of Delhi Cantt residents’ welfare association.
“Most properties are in the name of the original settlers. Their descendants are being treated as encroachers,” he said.