Around 130 Acres Of Land Freed In Massive Anti-Encroachment DriveAlokKNMishra@timesgroup.com
Three mansions built on illegally occupied forest land in Bhatti village were taken over on Tuesday as the south district administration freed around 130 acres of land in the area during a major anti-encroachment drive.
The district task force also demolished several illegal multipurpose structures built on encroached land by religious sects, local influential persons, land sharks and others, said an official.
While demarcating forest land, it was noticed that the bungalows, each covering over 1 acre, were built on encroached plots, said Amjad Tak, the district magistrate (south). “The owners were sent notices warning them of action. Public announcements were also made. The district administration shared with the owners the land records, which say the bungalows stand on encroached forest land,” said Tak.
The sprawling bungalows, surrounded by huge lawns, have been sealed. A government official said the owners of the buildings and their representatives were present during the drive.
Although the authorities are yet to decide about the fate of the bungalows, the properties, standing on forest land, may ultimately face demolition. In August, during a similar drive, the district administration had taken over a mansion on a two-acre plot in Dera Mandi village falling under its jurisdiction. The mansion stood on gram sabha land and the AAP government is now planning to use the building for social welfare activities.
“In south district, huge tracts of land have been encroached upon by religious sects and musclemen, among others, who have built farmhouses, mansions and other structures on these plots. We want to send a strong message to all of them against encroachments,” said Tak.
Dozens of sheds and illegal structures were also demolished during the encroachment drive. “The forest and gram sabha land were usurped and illegal structures were erected on them in collusion with local land mafia,” said an official.
Public notices were published in leading newspapers in August to inform general public as well as the encroachers, and notices were sent to the offenders on September 13, he said, adding that the demarcation and field identification were completed before the action was initiated.
In near future, similar actions are likely in Sahoorpur, Dera Mandi and Asola villages where around 400 acres of land have been found to be under encroachment, a source said. “By November, action will be taken against these encroachments,” said an official.
Large tracts of government and forest land in south Delhi, where even a small plot has a high economic value, have been encroached upon in the past two decades, the official said. In July, TOIreported that land four times the size of President’s Estate had been encroached upon in south Delhi by self-styled godmen, politicians, musclemen and others.
Similar actions were taken in the recent past in Asola and Bhatti and government land of about 194 and 140 acres, respectively, were freed of encroachment and handed over to forest and the gram sabhas.https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/PrintArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F09%2F26&entity=ar00717&ts=20180926004631&uq=20180921040217&mode=text