Monday, February 13, 2012

News Article: Illegal houses along Hindon to be razed

Vandana Keelor, TNN Feb 8, 2012, 01.55AM IST

NOIDA: After almost a decade of ignoring rampant encroachment by land mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar along the Hindon floodplains, the district administration has finally woken up and decided to take action against them. Having constituted squads to conduct emergency inspections, the district magistrate has scheduled a high level emergency meeting on February 8 with officials from Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and the district police to determine further action.

All additional district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates and other top officials of both Noida and Greater Noida, the senior superintendent of police and irrigation department officials are expected to attend the meeting to find a solution. "The operation against land mafia will begin with immediate effect even though the polls are our priority," said Hirdesh Kumar, district magistrate.

"All land under illegal possession will be recovered. Since it is a very sensitive issue that could cause a law and order problem due to agitation by some people, security will be tightened before launching the drive to remove the "illegal" structures," added Kumar.

The district magistrate said that action would be taken against anyone found involved in illegal activities and will continue until the encroachments are removed from the Hindon floodplains. During the meeting, officials will be instructed to demolish all illegal structures and take action against those involved in putting them up. "Action will also be taken against officials found to be patronizing land grabbers and illegal colonizers," Kumar said.

When asked about the decades old densely encroached area closer to NH-24, the DM said that initially the fresh "illegal" construction will be tackled and freed and the "older encroachment will be left for dealing with only after the assembly elections".

The land that has been encroached and sold to "unsuspecting" buyers for constructing houses lies across nearly 15 kilometres straddling the floodplains of the Hindon.

Located off the Noida-Greater Noida link road near sector 122 in Noida, and a stone's throw from the Noida Extension-Greater Noida area, illegal constructions have mushroomed right from the Hindon Pushta along the NH-24 up to Kulesra in Greater Noida. This entire area falls under the flood zone, where all construction activity is banned. Under river basin regulations, floodplains can only be used for farming and nothing else. Currently, hundreds of concrete structures have already come up in the area.

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