150 acres forest land cleared of unauthorised construction, SC told

The Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that it has taken possession of around 150 acres of forest land after demolishing unauthorised construction around Khori Gaon, including ten farmhouses.

In a compliance report filed in the top court, the civic body said an additional four weeks should be granted to remove all encroachments on the forest land.

“The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad carried out its planned demolition drive against unauthorised structures standing on the subject municipal corporation land at Khori area in revenue estate of village Lakkarpur… the corporation took possession of approximately 150 acres of land after demolition,” said the report.

The civic body said notices have been served to violators in other villages also, apart from Khori village. It also informed the top court that it has temporarily arranged for food, shelter, medicines, toilets etc, at Radha Soami Satsang Bhawan adjacent to the 150 acres land where encroachments were cleared. “The corporation is arranging cooked food which is served on regular basis from July 16 onwards at Radha Soami Satsang Beas,” added the compliance report.

During the hearing on Friday, the civic body informed the Supreme Court that rehabilitation policy for those who were residing in Khori village has been finalised.

However, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing some of the residents of the village, submitted before a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari that statements made by the state earlier regarding rehabilitation were “completely false”.

“We have found a shocking state of affairs… We have put it on record here,” contended Gonsalves. At this, counsel for the civic body informed the bench that he will place the rehabilitation plan copy on record.

The bench asked the state as well as the corporation to file their responses on Gonsalves’ application and said it would hear the matter on September 6.

The top court, on June 7, had directed Haryana and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove “all encroachments”, consisting around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near the village.