Gwal Pahari residents unfazed by MCG notices
The Gwal Pahari residents claimed that their lands have been at the centre of disputes over three decades and they have managed to stave off any government or judicial intervention.gurgaon Updated: Feb 03, 2017 22:58 IST
The residents of Gwal Pahari are yet to receive eviction notices from the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) that may displace them from their properties.
They remain unfazed by the consequences of the notice and are adamant that life will continue as usual.
The residents claimed that their lands have been at the centre of disputes over three decades and they have managed to stave off any government or judicial intervention.
They said that 80 eviction notices that the MCG started issuing from Thursday is nothing but a “minor deterrent” and would not have any impact on their way of life whatsoever.
Ram Kishan was the sarpanch of the local panchayat before the area fell within the ambit of the MCG’s jurisdiction. The panchayat was disbanded after the MCG was founded in 2010.
Kishan claimed that the land which is at the heart of the dispute currently belongs to the panchayat and part of a larger tract of land that was bifurcated way back in the seventies.
The barren land was divided into two parts — 75% of it came to be in the possession of landowners and farmers and the rest remained with the panchayat.
This bifurcation of the land threw up further complications when the state government divested the panchayat land for the setting up of The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) and National Institute of Solar Energy.
Kishan claimed that in 1980’s, the government wanted to encroach on the panchayat land further and residents took the matter to the local court and secured a stay order. Since then, legal disputes between the residents and district administration had been a routine affair. The situation worsened from the time there was significant rise in the number of big realty projects in the NCR and MCG areas.
Kishan claimed land issues were further aggravated when residents signed sale-agreements with private colonisers and builders from the turn of the 21st century. Since then, the government has been trying to displace those who refused to be lured into such agreements.
“Ever since the land prices went through the roof and there was a noticeable realty boom in these areas, the authorities have been trying to displace landowners and claim it as their property. Despite repeated notices and attempts, they have been unsuccessful in their attempts. The residents either moved the local court seeking injunctions or got the support of ruling politicians. Hence, this time too, we don’t see them being successful in their ploy. We feel that status quo will never change,” Kishan said.
Other residents who received notices from the MCG six months back also echoed Kishan’s sentiments.
“As they got the notices, the residents took up the matter with Gurgaon MLA Umesh Aggarwal. The matter died down and the MCG had to retreat after he directed them to back off and retract its claims on ownership of these lands. If, a notice is served again, we will go the same route,” Rajesh Kumar Mahendra, a resident of a farmhouse in the area, said.
Gwal Pahari is located on the foothills of the Aravalli range and is territorially a part of Gurgaon. It shares its borders with New Delhi and Faridabad.
Owing to its proximity to the three cities, land here is widely sought after by developers and realtors. Several individuals, real estate developers and farmhouse-owners hold properties in the area.
Last week, the Haryana government blocked the mutation order for 464 acres of MCG land by TL Satyaprakash, former Gurugram district collector and the then MCG commissioner.
Since then, the MCG has been looking to assert its claim over these lands and take possession. It has even compiled a list of 178 people who they claim are illegal settlers on their lands.
As per MCG officials, 80 notices were sent on Thursday and the remaining will be sent by the next week. The officials said that once the land is vacated, they will demolish all structures and fence off the area.