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Floodplain encroachment: No one dared enter the floodplain zone, say residents

Residents of Ahimsa Khand-2 area of Indirapuram were the worst affected by the air pollution caused by these stone crushing units and the movement of heavy trucks carrying construction debris.

noida Updated: Apr 09, 2018 23:19 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Hindon floodplains,river Hindon,demolition drive
The Ghaziabad development authority carried out a major demolition drive and freed up nearly 25 acres of Hindon floodplains near Indirapuram on Monday. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The 25-acre area, which the Ghaziabad Development Authority freed up in Kanawani on Monday, was a ‘no entry zone’ for outsiders. The area was being used by construction material dealers and stone crushing units and the entire activity was going on under the watchful eyes of musclemen and guards who did not allow anyone in its vicinity.

Residents of Ahimsa Khand-2 area of Indirapuram were the worst affected by the air pollution caused by these stone crushing units and the movement of heavy trucks carrying construction debris.

“We tried to enter the area but musclemen did not allow us. In order to click photographs to file complaints, we had to go to the top of our high-rises and click photographs of the large-scale activities going on there. Even the local villagers supported the operators and protested against us when we tried to erect height barriers on the main road to prevent the entry of trucks,” Alok Kumar, president of federation of association of apartment owners, said.

“No one dared go near the crushing units or complain about the activity to the operators. Finally, we had to approach the authorities. Now, we fear for our well-being as operators may try to harm us after Monday’s demolition drive,” he said.

Residents said the stone crushing units were a major source of air pollution and trucks carrying debris arrived every night.

“Almost all of the 22 high-rises in the area were severely affected. Residents had to permanently close their windows as the fine debris from the units entered their houses. The trucks also damaged water pipelines and the road. We heaved a sigh of relief after the stone crushing unit was demolished,” DK Maurya, resident of Niho-Scottish Garden, a high-rise of nearly 820 flats adjacent to the floodplain, said.

The demolition site is adjacent to Ahimsa Khand-2 and a part of Kanawani village.

The construction material operators laid the entire blame for the pollution on stone crushing unit.

“At night, the debris was crushed to make rori (stone chips) and fine particles which got sold to construction sites at cheap rates. They sold it for Rs 32 per square foot while our rate for good quality stone chips is Rs 38. Indirapuram residents were mostly troubled by the pollution from this unit and they lodged complaints. It is because of this unit that we were also removed from the area,” Om Hari, a construction material operator, said.

“Local farmers rented out their land for Rs 10,000- Rs 15,000 a month. Our construction material did not cause pollution,” he said.

Traders on the floodplains used to wash the construction material and debris by extracting water using submersibles and released the polluted water into the river. Officials also found large truck weighing scales and generator rooms at the site. These too were demolished along with plant and machinery.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 23:19 IST