Noida: Illegal farmhouses on Yamuna floodplains demolished
The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration on Wednesday freed 40 acres of Yamuna floodplain, which was encroached upon by the land mafia. The land grabbers had constructed illegal farm houses which were involved in commercial activities.
The land was freed following an order from the Allahabad high court, which directed the administration to free the land and hand it over to the Indian Air Force, which was the actual owner of this floodplain, said officials.
Deputy district magistrate (Sadar area) Anjani Kumar Singh led the team consisting of police and administration officials at the site.
“The team will continue clearing the debris and other material from the 40 acres of floodplain on Thursday too. We had deployed adequate force to ensure peace during the demolition drive,” said BN Singh, district magistrate Gautam Budh Nagar district.
Officials from the Indian Air Force were also present, when the demolition drive was started at the site.
A division bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Varma had formed the committee following a petition filed by a Noida-based social activist Ajit Singh.
The petitioner in July 2015 had alleged the land mafia had encroached upon the floodplain that was reserved for a bombing range since 1950. The same land mafia had constructed the farmhouses, thereby damaging the fragile ecology of the floodplains, the petitioner said. To locate the ‘missing’ map and records of the floodplains, the Allahabad high court on May 19, last year, had formed a committee comprising representatives of the commanding officer (Hindon air force station), defence estate officer (DEO) of the same area, director (Survey of India) in Lucknow and DM of Gautam Budh Nagar.
The air force on November 26, 1950, had acquired floodplains under its Tilpat firing and bombing range located in Faridabad and some villages of the then Bulandshahr district. When the air force stopped using this area, now under the Noida jurisdiction, farmers started agricultural activities. Later, the land mafia grabbed the land and constructed farmhouses.
Selling farmhouse plots has been a lucrative business for small developers on Yamuna floodplains because local authorities do not stop this illegal activity.
“Most of the large size farm houses are owned by the senior IAS, IPS, politicians and judges,” said a district administration official.