Squatters removed from 22.9 acres of forest land in south Delhi
More than 100 bighas of forest land was freed from encroachers in Jounapur village of south Delhi during a huge demolition drive conducted by the Delhi government’s revenue department on Tuesday.
According to the officials of the revenue department, the district administration had conducted a demarcation of entire southern ridge — which includes the villages of Jounapur and Dera Mandi in Mehrauli sub-division — and determined that several acres of forest land had been encroached.
The officials said that the drive was conducted following directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to free forest land from encroachers.
Mitali Goel, sub-divisional magistrate, Mehrauli, said that the district administration had issued notices and had asked the encroachers to clear out.
“The demolition drive was carried out at the encroached forest lands in Jounapur village where 110 bighas (22.9 acres) of land was freed. Encroachments removed were mostly in the form of farm houses, tin sheds and boundary walls. In the second phase of the drive in Dera Mandi village, we are expecting to recover at least 30 acres of land in the coming days,” Goel said.
The operation was headed by sub-divisional magistrate Mehrauli and was aided by officials of the forest department.
The drive was conducted under the cover of heavy police deployment, with about 100 police personnel and civil defense volunteers keeping a watch. At least eight JCBs were used in the operation.
“The vacated land was handed over to forest department and pillars were installed. Work of fencing and construction of boundary wall is under process to protect the land from future encroachments,” the SDM said.
In August last year, a major encroachment removal drive was carried out in Bhati village area of south Delhi and about 800 bighas (166 acres) of government land was retrieved by demolition of farm houses, boundary walls, unauthorised structures etc.
Before that in March 2018 the district administration has retrieved about 194 acres (934 bighas) of government land in Asola village of south Delhi.