GDA demolishes permanent structures on Hindon floodplains in Kanawani
A majority of the land belongs to farmers but they had rented it out to traders and stone crushing unit operators who were operating in violation of norms. Some of the land also belongs to the government.noida Updated: Apr 09, 2018 23:16 IST
The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) on Monday carried a major demolition drive on the floodplains of river Hindon near Indirapuram and freed up nearly 25 acres of land on which illegal activities were being carried out for over a decade.
A majority of the land belongs to farmers but they had rented it out to traders and stone crushing unit operators who were operating in violation of norms. Some of the land also belongs to the government.
The vast floodplain zone of the river has been encroached upon by permanent constructions and is majorly occupied by traders selling construction material dumped on the floodplains. The authority’s earthmoving machines also demolished a major stone crushing unit which was causing air pollution by processing construction debris.
“We freed up nearly 25 acres of the floodplain zone after receiving complaints from local residents about illegal construction activities. Further, stone crushing units were also adding to air pollution which is a growing concern for residents of nearby high-rises in Indirapuram,” RP Singh, executive engineer, GDA, said.
The officials, after the demolition of the permanent construction and stone crushing units, asked the occupants to remove their material within a week.
“We have taken the land on rent from local farmers and were operating our small business for the past five to six years. The stone crushing unit has been here for the past decade or so. A month ago, we were served notices. Our structures have been demolished and we have been asked to leave. We have been stocking construction material, which we procured from other cities, selling it to local retailers,” Mahesh Chand Sharma, one of the operators, said.
Hindustan Times followed up the issue with officials of the GDA, UP Irrigation department and the district magistrate last December and also published several reports in January and February highlighting the plight of river Hindon and the pollution caused by stone crushing units.
On February 3, a team of GDA officials visited the area and served notices to occupants. The drive was, however, carried out on a large-scale on Monday as encroachments had continued for nearly a decade.
In March 2010, Uttar Pradesh chief secretary had issued a notification to all authorities of the state, including the police department, to ensure that no construction is allowed on the floodplain zone and those raised should be removed. Similar government orders were also issued on May 18,1995, and on April 5, 2003. However, they failed to elicit the desired results.
“It is the responsibility of the departments concerned to prevent permanent constructions but they never acted nor showed the will to get rid of the illegal activity carried out on the floodplains. Even hundreds of residential constructions have also come up on the zone over the years. Seeing this, collusion of authorities cannot be ruled out,” Rajendra Tyagi, councillor, said.