Residents raise alarm over encroachment in Ghasola
Construction work began on the plot in question on Sunday, residents alleged, in contravention of multiple legal mandates, which prohibit such activities on common use land.Updated: Jun 19, 2019 01:30 IST
Residents of Ghasola village in Sector 49 have raised alarm over alleged encroachments on common land in the area. After noticing unauthorised construction activity on a plot adjacent to the village’s agricultural lands, the residents of the area lodged a written complaint with the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram(MCG), the commissioner of police, the department of town and country planning(DTCP), the Haryana Shahri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) and the deputy commissioner, on Monday.
Construction work began on the plot in question on Sunday, residents alleged, in contravention of multiple legal mandates, which prohibit such activities on common use land.
Satnam Singh, the main petitioner, said that the plot was originally marked as “panchayat deh” in revenue records, before it was taken over by the HSVP (formerly known as Haryana Urban Development Authority or Huda) in 2009 for maintaining a green belt along the Southern Peripheral Road. “When the MCG was formed in 2010, the land was transferred to them,” said Singh, who owns an inherited plot of agricultural land just opposite the site in question.
Another resident, requesting anonymity, said, “We noticed that earthmovers were levelling the soil and clearing it of vegetation on Sunday. When we approached the workers, they said they were hired by the MCG and were building a cremation site. However, they could not produce any letter from the authority. On inquiring with the MCG on Monday, we were told that no such construction had been sanctioned.”
The resident also pointed out that there were two other cremation grounds in the 700-metre radius of the alleged encroachment.
Harish Parashar, chief town planner, MCG, and additional commissioner, Inderjit Kularia, declined to comment on the matter, saying they were not aware of any developments. However, an executive engineer, requesting anonymity, said, “As per protocol, the complaint will be forwarded to the enforcement wing, which will corroborate the land’s ownership and take action if needed.”
Usurping of common land, activists said, was rampant across the city, particularly in newer sectors and peri-urban areas, where land sharks operate to feed the city’s growing appetite for developable land. There are presently 230 cases of such encroachments, involving 136 acres of common land, under different panchayats of Gurugram that are pending before sub-divisional magistrates.
S Ailawadi, an advocate specialising in land disputes in Gurugram and Faridabad, said, “This sort of construction will negatively affect the surrounding agricultural community, who rely on common use lands for daily sustenance. It also sets a poor precedent for the protection of panchayat lands, which the Supreme Court and the high court have upheld via multiple orders. Strict action needs to be taken to protect these environmentally important green spaces.”
The issue was also recently addressed by union minister and member of Parliament from Gurugram, Rao Inderjit Singh, at an event commemorating World Environment Day in the city. Speaking about the need to preserve common lands and green spaces in the city, Singh said, “Gurugram’s land has been exploited to a large extent by certain lobbies. People need to join hands so that builders, and those in the government, who are close to these lobbyists, can be kept at bay.” Singh also stressed on the need for community action to protect such common lands.