Following the notices issued by the municipal corporation to vacate the encroached land in New Prem Nagar, more than 50 families have appealed to the state government once again, not to demolish their homes, while some of them have moved the district court.
MC commissioner on Monday issued speaking orders to the people, who had constructed residential buildings on MC’s land in New Prem Nagar at the backside of Nehru Rose Garden, to vacate the land till Thursday.
But going against commissioner’s speaking orders for demolition, some of the residents on Wednesday moved the district court, following which, the judge ordered to maintain status-quo on the sites in dispute till October 14.
Additional district judge Gurnam Singh directed that the records of MC can also be called for the next hearing, in the case filed by some residents. Till then status-quo on the sites be maintained, the judge stated.
When HT team visited the area on Thursday, a few people were also seen breaking the structures built on the encroached land, as the deadline of notice was over, and they were of the view that MC teams could reach anytime for demolishing the buildings.
It is pertinent to mention here that this land in New Prem Nagar was acquired by MC in 1977, for extension of Rose Garden. The MC had planned to set up a toy train there.
In 1982, a resolution was also passed by the MC to sell the land in shape of residential plots in open auction, but it was then cancelled. Later on, people started encroaching upon the land and raised residential structures in the area.
In 1999, MC had ordered for demolition of these buildings, but these people had then moved the Punjab and Haryana high court. In 2011, the high court quashed the order of demolition, gave three week’s time to file objections to the showcause notices that were issued to them by the MC.
In the same year, court had ordered that the competent authority shall pass an appropriate order after considering the reply of objections. The MC had to pass the appropriate order within three months, which was not done.
So, following HC’s order passed in 2011, the MC commissioner issued a speaking order that the illegal occupants of this land have no legal right to hold unlawful possession of MC land, in August 2014.
Following this, recent notices were issued to these people to vacate the land within three days.
A resident of New Prem Nagar, who got notice for demolition, Kasturi Lal, said, “Many of the residents have been living here for the past 30 years. We have ration cards, electricity connections and other facilities that were given by the same government. We want the government to regularise the land where we are living, as we are ready to pay for it.”
Another resident, Ujjagar Singh, who also got notice, said, “Some families had come here when the state was fighting with militants. These people were forced to leave their villages due to fear of militants and they started living on this vacant land.”
Another resident said, “The gover nments have brought schemes for slum dwellers by providing flats to them. We are living here for the past many years, then why our homes are being demolished. No action is being taken against those influential people, who had also encroached upon the government land.”
Assistant town planner Kamaljeet Kaur said, “The notices were issued to the people, who had encroached upon the MC’s land. But, we have no information about anybody filing a case with the court.”