Faridabad: Govt check finds 6,700 illegal structures in 4 villages

Updated on Jan 25, 2023 02:38 AM IST

5,948 unauthorised structures have been found in Anangpur, while 339 unauthorised structures have been found in Ankhir, 313 in Lakkarpur Khori and 193 in Mewla Maharajpur.

The Supreme Court in 2022 ordered structures in Faridabad’s Lakkarpur Khori village, illegally built in the Aravallis, to be demolished. (HT Photo)
The Supreme Court in 2022 ordered structures in Faridabad’s Lakkarpur Khori village, illegally built in the Aravallis, to be demolished. (HT Photo)
By, Chandigarh

A ground truthing exercise conducted by the Haryana government in four villages of Faridabad district situated in the Aravallis, following a Supreme Court order, has found 6,793 unauthorised structures built on land protected under special orders issued under Section 4 of Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA).

The Supreme Court (SC) in its July 21, 2022 judgment (pertaining to Anangpur, Ankhir, Mewla Maharajpur and Lakkarpur Khori villages of Faridabad) held that the land covered by the special orders issued under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) have all the protection allowed to forest land within the meaning of Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and, therefore, the state government cannot permit their use for non-forest activities without the prior approval of the Central government with effect from October 25, 1980. The apex court had also ordered that illegal structures on such land should be removed.

The Haryana government subsequently carried out an exercise to verify unauthorised structures in these villages with the aid of unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite imagery. Documents show that the ground truthing revealed that there were 6,793 unauthorised structures built on 729 locations protected under the special orders of PLPA in the four Faridabad villages.

Anangpur has the maximum violations

According to the ground truthing findings, 5,948 unauthorised structures have been found in Anangpur, while 339 unauthorised structures have been found in Ankhir, 313 in Lakkarpur Khori and 193 in Mewla Maharajpur.

Anangpur village was once home to the Kant Enclave, which was demolished following a Supreme Court order dated September 11, 2018. A total of 42 constructions owned by 33 people were razed from 2018 till now.

A Faridabad official said that the forest department served notices pointing out the violations of forest laws to the owners of the unauthorised structures in October 2022. They were also given the opportunity to remove these unauthorised structures and stop all non-forest activities from their land or submit written representation denying the facts in the notice.

“The hearings on the replies and objections made by landowners, as directed by the Supreme Court, are still going on. While several structures that were built on land owned by the municipal corporation in an unauthorised manner have been demolished, the fate of these 6,793 structures will be decided once the hearings are over. Every structure built on land protected under special orders issued under Section 4 of PLPA will be removed,” said an official.

The apex court in its July 2022 order had directed the state government that the competent authority shall afford the opportunity to the affected persons of being heard and submit a compliance report in that regard within three months, before illegal structures are removed and non-forest activities stopped on lands covered by the special orders of August 18, 1992, issued under Section 4 of PLPA.

Marriage halls, police establishments, varsity seek regularisation

State officials said 65 entities have also applied for permission from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change seeking approval for non-forest use of the forest land protected under special orders issued under Section 4 of the PLPA. “These 65 entities, including 43 that have applied after the apex court’s July 2022 judgment, are seeking regularisation of their unauthorised structures. The applicants include a university, schools, marriage halls, police stations, and recreational complexes,’’ documents showed.

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