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Squatters refuse to vacate NH-58, Hardiwar admin gears up to demolish structures

More than 15 structures, including two police posts, are encroaching upon the NH-58 hampering the widening work

dehradun Updated: Nov 27, 2017 21:10 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,NH-58,NH-58 widening
Work in progress near Saptrishi-Bhoopatwala stretch of NH-58 in Haridwar.(HT Photo)

The Haridwar sistrict administration will soon demolish more than 15 structures that are encroaching upon National Highway-58 (Saptrishi -Bhoopatwala-Khadkhadi belt). The said buildings haven’t yet been vacated despite the administration issuing them notices.

The encroachments are hindering the widening process of the four-lane road. The administration aims at evicting the encroachers by December 7 after which National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would start work on the NH.

The administration had given a deadline of 15 days to encroachers on November 13 after providing compensation to vacate the ashrams, rest houses, lodges and hotels that have come up along the road. However, none of the owners vacated the properties. On Monday, Haridwar district magistrate (DM) Deepak Rawat announced that all the buildings would be demolished to ensure smooth work of NH.

“We will have to demolish the buildings as even after setting a deadline, the property owners haven’t vacated them,” Rawat told Hindustan Times.

The anti-encroachment squad will now take over and demolish all illegal structures.

Two police posts --- Saptrishi police post on border of Haridwar-Dehradun and Rodibelwala police post opposite Har-Ki-Pauri --- are also hampering the widening of the highway.

Asked about the two properties, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Haridwar, Krishan Kumar VK said it was up to the highway construction authority to provide new premises for police posts.

It was only after social activist Ratan Mani Dobhal threatened to go on indefinite strike over delay in highway widening work that the administration became active. Dobhal had highlighted that the delay in the widening project has led to further delay in shifting potable waterline on Saptrishi-Doodhadhari belt, which was posing problems for locals.

“For past six months, water leakage problem has affected our colony and we are waiting for highway work to get over. The project is already four years late and we don’t want to suffer any longer,” said Uday Ram Semwal, a resident of Hari-Pur-Kalan, Shantikunj.

NHAI project director Pradeep Singh Gusain said, “Encroachments are posing problem but now with assurance by Haridwar DM, we hope to resume work on the project.”

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 21:09 IST