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Ghaziabad: GDA flattens Dera ashram in demolition drive on Hindon floodplain

The chief secretary of UP had issued a notification in March, 2010 directing all authorities, including the police, to ensure that there are no unauthorised constructions on the floodplains and all illegal structures are removed.

noida Updated: Feb 12, 2018 22:45 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad news,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh,Dera Saccha Sauda
The Ghaziabad development authority demolished permanent constructions on Hindon flood plains near Karhera, on Monday. Those demolished include ashram of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Ghaziabad.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) on Monday razed illegal constructions at Karhera, Morti and Sihani on the floodplains of River Hindon. As part of the drive, the enforcement teams also flattened the ashram of jailed ‘Dera Saccha Sauda’ chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The ashram on the floodplain in Karhera had come up nearly two and half years ago and was fully operational till Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by the CBI court last year. Since then, the number of followers attending the ashram has considerably reduced. The facility had come up near the area from where the 10.3km Hindon elevated road begins in Raj Nagar Extension.

“The ashram is spread over nearly 4-5 bighas of land and has permanent constructions in the form of rooms, toilets and sheds had come up on it. Since such construction is not allowed on the floodplain zone, we demolished it,” RP Singh, executive engineer of the authority’s enforcement wing, said.

During the demolition drive, the enforcement and administrative officials were given backup support by the police in order to prevent any untoward incident.

Apart from the ashram, other permanent constructions on 10 land chunks falling under the floodplain zone were also demolished during the drive. These unauthorised structures fall on seven land chunks in Karhera near Raj Nagar Extension, two land chunks of Morti and one chunk in Sihani village.

“The demolition started on Monday morning and ended by evening. All the permanent constructions on the land chunks were demolished and any such activity will not be allowed hereafter,” Singh said.

However, there are more permanent constructions which have mushroomed on the floodplains in Vijay Nagar, near NH-24, Chijarsi, apart from the ones coming up in Kanawani behind Indirapuram.

“Illegal activities continue unabated and unauthorised permanent constructions, in the form of houses, have come up. Under the anti-land mafia drive, these are the crucial areas where demolition drives are needed. It will free up the river zone and considerably reduce encroachment. But every department has turned a blind eye to the situation until now,” Alok Kumar, president, federation of association of apartment owners, said.

The chief secretary of UP had issued a notification in March 2010, directing all authorities, including the police, to ensure that there are no unauthorised constructions on the floodplain zone and all illegal structures are removed.

“The law clearly states that construction in floodplain areas is prohibited. It not only affects the natural flow of the river but even causes environment problems, apart from posing a risk to human life and property,” the National Green Tribunal had observed during the hearing on a petition on May 20, 2013.

The petition was filed by Ghaziabad resident Akash Vashishtha, who moved the green tribunal seeking the removal of encroachments from the floodplains of river Hindon.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:44 IST