Days ahead of Yogi visit, Kailash Mansarovar pilgrim’s centre lands in green row
Activists Raghav and Akash Vashistha, who have filed different petitions at the National Green Tribunal over environmental issues, had earlier filed a complaint with the administration, claiming that land chunk 1330 was a water body.Updated: Aug 29, 2017 11:56 IST
A row has erupted over a piece of land on which the Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to construct a ‘Kailash Mansarovar pilgrim centre’.
Environmentalists say a major chunk of the land is ‘jheel’ (a water body) as per ‘Fasli’ records 1360 (English year 1953) and its nature cannot be altered but the authorities say it is barren land.
The Ghaziabad district administration now is going through revenue records to confirm the nature of the land in Arthala village, where the facility will come up.
Officials are also in a fix as chief minister Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to arrive on August 31 to lay the foundation stone for the facility proposed to come up near ‘Ala Hazrat Haj House’, which is also caught in litigation.
Environmentalist Sushil Raghav had earlier filed a petition against the construction of the ‘Haj House’ near the Hindon floodplains after which the state government had withheld its opening.
Officials are trying to find out the base records of Fasli 1359 in order to ascertain the exact nature of the land slotted for the ‘Kailash Mansarovar pilgrim house,’ bearing khasra number 1330 (a land record number).
Activists Raghav and Akash Vashistha, who have filed different petitions at the National Green Tribunal over environmental issues, had earlier filed a complaint with the administration, claiming that land chunk 1330 was a water body.
“We have records that show it was a ‘jheel’ but municipal corporation officials claim it is ‘banjar’ (barren land). After our petition with NGT, the authorities are restoring water bodies. Land chunk 1330 should also be restored. The nature of this land cannot be altered for any other use as provided in the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act and as per the Supreme Court’s directions,” Raghav said.
In one of their reports to the administration against the complaint filed by Vashistha, municipal corporation officials said that land chunk 1330, spread over .672 hectares, was ‘banjar.’
“Our records and the property register show it as ‘banjar.’ The government has the power to give this land to a department and it was allotted for a charitable/community facility. Land chunk 1330 is a bigger plot and it may comprise different kinds of lands in it,” said CP Singh, municipal commissioner, Ghaziabad.
Vashishtha said, “The land chunk is a water body and I will take legal recourse if its nature is altered. The facility can be taken up for construction at some other location.”
“The 1360 ‘Fasli’ record shows the land chunk as ‘jheel.’ The 1359 record is the base record and we are trying to find out its nature on its basis. But this record is in custody of the court in connection with a land dispute case. We will take its permission and scan the record at the earliest,” said Prem Ranjan Singh, joint magistrate.
In an earlier order in January 2011, the apex court in a case, Jagpal Singh & others versus State of Punjab & others, had stated,“The present is a case of land recorded as a village pond. This court in Hinch Lal Tiwari vs. Kamala Devi, AIR 2001 SC 3215 (followed by the Madras High Court in L. Krishnan vs. State of Tamil Nadu, 2005(4) 8 CTC 1 Madras) held that land recorded as a pond must not be allowed to be allotted to anybody for construction of a house or any allied purpose. The court ordered the respondents to vacate the land they had illegally occupied, after taking away the material of the house. We pass a similar order in this case (sic).”
First Published: Aug 28, 2017 23:33 IST