Encroachments have nullified Gurugram's development: HC : The Tribune India

Encroachments have nullified Gurugram's development: HC

Cyber City claims shattered as shanties abound along roads: Bench

Encroachments have nullified Gurugram's development: HC

Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, March 16

Critical of the “illegalities of encroachment” apparently permitted by the state officials in Gurugram, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has minced no words to say that planned development has taken a backseat following unlawful constructions and the claims of it being a “Cyber City” have been shattered, with shanties dotting the roads.

Advantage to litigants

Due to various litigations by landowners challenging the notification which eventually have been decided against them, the landowners have continued to remain in possession at the cost of the State, which has deposited the compensation amount running into hundreds of crores, specially in Gurugram district. A HC Division Bench

Making it clear that “A-class” constructions have also been apparently raised in the district on acquired land belonging to the state, the high court has also set a two-month deadline for ascertaining the extent of encroachments, among other things. Directions have also been issued to the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) for the constitution of a high-powered committee comprising senior officials and revenue department authorities.

The Bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan asserted that it was coming across a large number of cases where land was acquired in Gurugram district more than two decades ago. The state deposited compensation running into “hundreds of crores”, especially in the district. But the landowners continued to remain in possession at the state’s cost due to litigations by the landowners challenging the notification, which was eventually decided against them.

A second round of litigation was also initiated with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act coming into force. “Litigation (is) being initiated on the grounds that the balance of convenience is involved of the persons, who have raised the construction irrespective of the fact that it is illegal and that they are rank trespassers. Resultantly, the planned development of the state has been put to naught and its claim that it is a Cyber City has been shattered as there are shanties along the roads, along with illegal constructions which have come up on these lands,” the Bench observed.

Referring to “such circumstances”, the Bench asserted it was constrained to issue directions to the HSVP Chief Administrator to identify lands acquired for public purposes, especially for development of the Sectors, roads and the green belts in the district, where awards passed had become final.

Thereafter, the extent of the encroachments on these lands, deemed to be vested with the State by virtue of the awards having been passed, would be ascertained. The original landowners’ status there would be of trespassers.

The Bench added that the exercise would be conducted along all major roads –– the national and the state highway, the sector roads, areas abutting the highways emanating out of Gurugram town. This, the Bench asserted, was because it felt the “malice” was not only affecting Gurugram, but the State of Haryana in all urban areas where acquisition was initiated by the erstwhile Haryana Urban Development Authority, presently HSVP, for the planned development of the sectors as per the master plan. The Bench also called for a status report showing the layout plans of the acquired land and the level of the encroachment.


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