Wazirabad residents launch protest against construction of crematorium
After failing to get any response from the authorities, the residents of Wazirabad village have launched a protest to oppose the move by Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran(HSVP) to develop a large crematorium adjacent to their village. The residents said that the sit-in protest, which they started near the proposed site on January 15, will continue indefinitely and the agitation will intensify in the coming days if the government does not listen to them
More than 100 villagers were seen sitting at a makeshift tent near the site under the aegis of Wazirbad Sangarsh Samiti on Monday afternoon. The protesters said that if the need arises they will also bring their families to the site as the crematorium was likely to negatively impact their daily lives. Apart from them, locals from 10 neighbouring villages have also come forward to support their demand of shifting the crematorium.
Sitting at the protest site, locals alleged that hundreds of acres of land owned by Wazirabad residents was acquired by government to develop HSVP sectors and private residential colonies by developers, and that it was unfair that a crematorium was being forced on them. The locals also said that they have approached the district administration and their elected representatives but have got no response.
“The non-responsive attitude has forced us to come out on the streets. We are very distressed by this development as our land was used to develop this entire area around Golf Course Road but now the government wants to develop the cremation site near our homes and workplaces. There is another site available in Sector 54. The crematorium can also be developed near Faridabad Road close to the Aravallis away from residential areas,” said Rajpal Kalu, a member of the Sangarsh Samiti.
The protesters said that life of village residents particularly those living in Wazirabad Ki Dhani would be negatively affected once this facility comes up.
Manoj Bohra, a village resident, said that instead of building a huge facility, the HSVP should develop smaller crematoriums sector-wise. “The private developers should provide their own land for this purpose. The HSVP officials and the government should take a sympathetic view,” he said.
Locals said they feared that once this crematorium came up, Wazirbad, which was one of the largest villages in the area, would only be known for cremations. “Trees on the site have been uprooted. The crematorium will cause air pollution and lead to heavy traffic congestion,” said Manish Wazirabad, a resident, adding that they are now planning to approach the Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to get this project shifted.
The protest is also getting support from political parties and on Sunday, senior Congress leader Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, JJP district president Rishiraj Rana and other functionaries visited the protest site. “The crematorium should be shifted and the Congress fully supports the villagers. The government should take a flexible approach in this matter,” said Yadav.
HSVP officials, however, said that the under-construction facility would be eco-friendly and use only gas and electricity for cremation. Also the facility, which is being developed by a private developer under corporate social responsibility funds would be operated and maintained by the authority. “The cremation ground would be eco-friendly and it will serve the people along Golf Course Road. All issues raised by locals such as pollution and traffic would be addressed. The decision to shift the site can be taken only by the government,” said Jitender Yadav, administrator, HSVP.
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