The Ghaziabad development authority on Monday started a demolition drive to clear encroachments from public places, especially extended ramps, permanent constructions and generator sets installed outside residences.
The newly appointed vice-chairperson, Kanchan Verma, initiated the drive from outside her Sector 4 residence in Raj Nagar by demolishing ramps outside her house with JCB machines.
“The vice-chairperson initiated the drive and ordered demolition of the encroachment outside her residence near the Herbal Park in Raj Nagar. This was after she noticed that the bungalow had some construction at the entrance. The drive will now be extended to other areas and residents have been asked to remove the ramps constructed over drains and also remove diesel generator sets placed on government land,” said Ravindra Godbole, secretary, GDA.
In Ghaziabad, a number of drains in residential localities have been covered and used by residents as parking spaces or ramps to move their vehicles inside their houses.
“These have resulted in issues such as waterlogging and encroachment of government land. Once a small construction is made, people often occupy nearby land and start extending it for parking and end up using it as their private space. This will not be allowed,” Godbole said.
The authority has also requested residents to remove such structures within a week, failing which the enforcement department will get the structures removed. Residents said that the drive activity was pending for long and urged authority officials to not bend to resistance on the issue.
“The authority must act as per the law in this regard. The city needs to be clutter-free and the stormwater drains should be freed. In many colonies, drains have become non-existent due to heavy encroachment as residents have concretised the spaces outside their homes. There is hardly any groundwater recharge taking place,” said Akash Vashistha, a Raj Nagar resident.
“The move is a welcome one but the authority should ensure that once the drains are freed, water is permeating underground and contributing to groundwater recharge. Officials should also ensure that encroachments do not come up after they are removed, as has been done in the past,” he said.