After a long legal battle, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) will now be free from encroachments. The administration has removed over two-dozen huts and kutcha houses from the campus and its adjoining areas.
On January 4, 2011, the Patna high court had ordered demolition of houses and hutments from the hospital land. But the administration had failed to execute the orders. Later, the matter came up for hearing in Supreme Court when one Guddu Baba alias Vikas Chandra filed a PIL.
A team of district officials, several policemen, lady constables, labourers and magistrate led by Patna city Sub Divisional Officer Anil Rai and DSP Rajesh Kumar reached the spot and started anti-encroachment demolition. Anti-riot vehicles and bulldozers were drafted in to clear the encroachments from the areas.
“Two-dozen mud houses and huts were removed from the hospital land. It will be freed from the encroachers shortly. Our drive will continue because some illegal structures on hospital premises are yet to be removed,” said the DSP.
The SDO claimed that more than 500 huts and mud houses were already removed from the premises without any resistance. A police officer said that some colonies adjacent to NMCH have also been encroached. “But the matter is under consideration before the civil court. We are waiting for the court order. The moment we get permission, we will launch the drive against such illegal colonies,” he added.
On the other hand, thousands of men, women and children were rendered homeless due to the ongoing anti-encroachment drive there.
Kanti Devi, a maid, said, “We were living with families for the last 45 years. We constructed a house, 45 years ago on a vacant piece of land. No one had then objected it"."We even had permanent electricity connection and was paying bill to power board office on regular basis” she added.
“I was living here since 1968 and constructed a house on the land. The government never raised any objection. The action was taken without serving notice on us. Our request to give some time to vacate the area was not considered by he officials. Later on, they demolished our houses,” lamented Bhushan Prasad, a labourer.
An officer, however, said the administration served notices on defaulters several times and whenever demolition exercise was to be carried out, the locals created a scene there. “There are at least 583 unauthorised hutments and 57 houses on 85 acres of the hospital land,” said the official.