Tribune News Service
Faridabad, July 28
The district administration has said the demolition drive to clear 1,430 acres of Aravalli forestland of illegal encroachments will begin early next week.
This was decided at a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Joon here today. The Supreme Court had, on July 23, directed the district authorities to clear all encroachments on the forestland while hearing a case related to the Khori demolition.
“The Khori demolition is a smaller project in comparison with the upcoming drive. Decks have been cleared. All illegal farmhouses, marriage palaces and educational or commercial institutions built on forestland will be razed,” said Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Yadav. He said the Forest Department had identified around 130 illegal constructions, including farmhouses. “A drone survey will be carried out to identify more encroachments that may have come up since the last survey undertaken two years ago,” he said. Court stay, if any, would be invalid in view of the SS order, he said.
Illegal farmhouses, marriage palaces and other structures on forestland will be razed. There will be no bias. —Yashpal Yadav, Faridabad DC
The Forest Department has started serving four-day notices on owners so that they remove the structures voluntarily. “The administration will otherwise impose cost of demolition on owners,” Yadav said, adding any structure in violation of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) would be razed.
Divisional Forest Officer Rajkumar said, “Of the 5,400 hectares of forestland spread in 15 villages, 572 hectares (1,430 acres) is under illegal occupation. A majority of encroachments are at Ankhir, Mewla Maharajpur, Anangpur, Pali, Badkhal and Manger villages.”
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