Stud farms and poutlry farms are dotting the landscape of Sector 23, one of the oldest sectors of the Millennium City, blocking key civic services to the residential areas, allege residents.
More than 40 per cent of the land in the sector still awaits acquisition even though it was earmarked as a residential area almost three decades ago.
Residents say that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) had promised that it will acquire the land used by these farms to build residential plots. However, the civic body has still not been able to acquire the said land due to legal clogs. According to the land acquisition department, most of the plots here were acquired before one decade. “There has been almost no acquisition after 2000,” said an official.
There are 10-12 cases of farm acquisition pending with the Special Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “When we were allotted the land, we were told that residences would come up in the areas where we have these farms today. If they are pending litigation, why hasn’t the government done anything for their expedition?” says General Satbir Singh, secretary, Sector 23 residents’ welfare association.
One of the farms, Usha Stud farm, is spread across 58 acres in the middle of the sector. “Three sides of my house face the stud farm’s boundary wall. During the monsoon, dirty water from the farm floods the area as the boundary of the farm is porous. It is a breeding ground for all water-borne diseases. Besides, an unbearable stench emanates from the farm,” said Sangeeta Rana, a resident.
Asked about the obstruction of essential services to the sector due to the land which has not been acquired, Huda administrator Praveen Kumar said, “We have cited essential services as a key reason for acquisition of the plots to the court. However, we have no power to annihilate the existing land and the rights pertaining to it. We will survey the land that is obstructing services and appeal to the court for their acquisition accordingly.”
Kumar added that the civic body was trying to acquire a four-acre plot in the sector that comes in the way of the delivery of essential services. The administrator said that HUDA would not, however, be diverting the essential services as this could lead to structural problems.
The vacant plots also add to the security concern of the residents as they are deserted stretches of land.
Meanwhile, the owners of the farms say that the sector did not exist when they built the farms and it is unfair to ask them to vacate the plots. “I bought the farm in 1976 under the government’s technical graduate scheme. Even the road adjoining the farm was built by us and not Huda. We will appeal to the court to prevent acquisition on the basis of discrimination of release,” said IS Kapoor, the owner of Kapoor Farms.
Residents claim that there is a wide gap between the blueprint of the sector shown to them during the time of allotment and the complex as it is built today. According to the plan, some nursing homes, religious buildings, shopping complexes and schools were to be part of Sector 23. However, these spots, too, are lying vacant.
Asked about the construction of the complexes, Kumar said, “There is no space for a community centre in the sector. Changes are made to the blueprint of the sector. We will survey the sites for the nursing homes and other buildings and call for an auction.”