Monday, January 23, 2012
News Article: Legal hassle holds up anti-land grab drive
Dhananjay Jha, Hindustan Times
Gurgaon, January 20, 2012
The row over relocation of marble traders in Sikanderpur Market has been getting murkier. Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) had launched a drive to reclaim the land allegedly encroached upon by the marble traders but it ran into rough weather after the affected shop owners moved
Huda had partially sealed 48 shops out of 52 in the market last week. But all these shops continue to function.
In 2004, in a bid to shift the marble market from Sikanderpur, Huda had allotted plots to marble traders in Sector 33-34. But the traders did shift to the new location, saying laws were violated in the allotment process.
In a survey, Huda found that many traders who were allotted plots in Sector 33-34 were carrying on with their trade in Sikanderpur as well.
According to the traders, the Huda allotted plots to undeserving candidates. “We want plot allotment be done in a fair manner. Unfortunately it did not happen in 2004 as plots were distributed to speculators,” said Sant Ram Goel.
The traders approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking fresh allotment and demarcation of plots.
The land was leased out to Sikanderpur Market by the erstwhile village panchayat in 1999 for five years. But later, this area came under Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG). Now, MCG is the rightful owner of the land and, as per municipal laws, this land cannot be used for commercial activities as the lease pact came to an end in 2004. “Now, the corporation wants its land back,” said a senior MCG official who does not want to be quoted.
The MCG official said many marble traders violated the terms and conditions of the lease agreement and sub-leased the allotted plots.
“Many unauthorised businesses are being run from there. Besides, the traders are encroaching upon more areas and their workers mostly put up in slums on grabbed land,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the process has started to auction the marble seized during the January 9-10 raid in Sikanderpur. The Huda gave shape to a committee to carry out the task. The panel includes MCG superintending engineer YK Garg as chairman, MCG executive engineer (enforcement) Raman Sharma as member secretary, MCG executive engineer Naresh Tomar and the Huda executive engineer of the area. The committee is learnt to have done the valuation of the marble. “On the basis of the reserved price, an auction will take place soon,” said a senior MCG official.
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