High Court directive on encroachments around IAF stations Gurgaon, Faridabad

Courtesy:TNN

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the deputy commissioners (DCs) of Gurgaon and Faridabad to issue notices against those who have made constructions within 300 metre around the Indian air force ammunition depot Gurgaon and 100 metre around the air forces station in Faridabad.

The DCs has been asked to issue notices asking the encroachers to remove constructions to avoid any action from the administration.

While issuing these orders, division bench headed by Justice SS Saron has also asked the central government to issue notification to designate both the DCs of Gurgaon and Faridabad as Collectors under the Works of Defence Act 1903 empowering them to take action accordingly.

 The directions to issue notice has come after the centre had agreed to reduce restricted zone around ammunition depot Gurgaon from 900 to 300 metres, if the state government undertakes to vacate the encroachments within 300 meter area.
 On September 7, the central government had submitted before the HC that the restricted zone around ammunition depot of Indian air force Gurgaon has been decided to be decreased from 900 to 300 metres. Centre, however, had made it clear that the area of restricted zone around air force station Faridabad shall remain 100 metres only.
The matter had reached before the Punjab and Haryana high court through a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Suresh Goyal of Faridabad seeking removal of constructions from 100-metre area around Air Force Station, Dabua in Faridabad and construction within 900 metres around airforce station Gurgaon.
Following the intervention of HC, a six member committee of central and state government officers headed by additional secretary, union ministry of urban development, had suggested to reduce the restricted zone around airforce station Gurgaon.
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Haryana Govt :Will help remove illegal structures around IAF station

Courtesy : TNN

Haryana government on Tuesday informed Punjab and Haryana high court that the ministry of defence is fully empowered to remove encroachments around defence establishments in Gurgaon and Faridabad and the state would provide all kind of assistance in this regard. These submissions were made by the state in response to the issue related to encroachments in restricted zones of the Air Force station in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

On October 6, the high court had made it clear that it would accept the proposal of reducing restricted zone around Indian Air Force (IAF) ammunition depot in Gurgaon from 900 to 300 metres, only if the state government undertakes to vacate the encroachments within 300 metre area.

Responding to HC query, the state government submitted before the court on Tuesday that it is ready to extend all kind of assistance and help to central government or the defence authorities in removing encroachments within the reduced area of 300 metres around the IAF station in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

On a plea of some residents living around air force station in Gurgaon seeking directions to provide power connections, the HC refused to pass any order and adjourned the matter for December 22 for further hearing.

On September 7, the central government had submitted before the HC that the restricted zone around ammunition depot of Indian Air Force in Gurgaon has been decided to be decreased from 900 to 300 metres. The Centre, however, had made it clear that the area of restricted zone around air force station in Faridabad shall remain 100 metres only.

The matter is pending before the HC in the wake of a petition filed against the encroachment around prohibited zones of the Air Force stations in both Gurgaon and Faridabad.

The matter had reached before the Punjab and Haryana high court through a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Suresh Goyal of Faridabad seeking removal of constructions from 100-metre area around Air Force station, Dabua in Faridabad and construction within 900 metres around air force station Gurgaon.

Following the intervention of HC, a six-member committee of central and state government officers headed by additional secretary, Union ministry of urban development, had suggested to reduce the restricted zone around air force station, Gurgaon.

Before HC hearing, 40 illegal structures in IAF zone razed

Courtesy TNN

The MCG on Sunday razed 40 illegal structures built within the 900-metre restricted area around the IAF ammunition depot, a day before next hearing on the issue in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Among the structures razed were 10 permanent buildings and 30 makeshift ones. The demolition drive was carried out from 6am to 9am in Sat Guru Farms on Old Delhi Road.

According to MCG’s executive engineer Rao Bhopal Singh, who spearheaded the drive, the demolished structures were notified by IAF officials only last week and MCG immediately got working on a strategy to bring them down. The MCG’s demolition team comprised all three joint commissioners, YS Gupta, Vivek Kalia and Pradeep Dagar, besides four executive engineers, 10 subdivisional officers and 15 junior engineers.

“We were planning the demolition for the past week. But due to lack of police availability, we had to postpone it. On Sunday, nearly 1,000 policemen were deployed to assist our demolition team fearing public resentment,” Singh said. The MCG had faced violent resistance in earlier demolition drives. “Most of the structures in the area were rented accommodations used by labourers and were empty as it was a Sunday. The demolition drive did not witness any violence or protests,” he added.

However, some people who lost their homes claimed their buildings were nearly five years old and the MCG should have targeted those making fresh constructions. Indresh Kumar Gupta claimed he bought land and built a permanent three-room home five years ago. “On what ground have they marked my house as illegal? This structure is built before 2011 and they cannot demolish it as per the court’s order,” said Gupta.

Joint Commissioner Gupta rebutted that argument. “The houses taken down were notified by the IAF and later verified by the MCG with house tax records and by comparison of satellite imagery. This should also be seen as a drive against various unauthorized colonies mushrooming in Gurgaon.”

Sources in MCG said another demolition was also planned in Sheetla Colony on Sunday but it was called off fearing protests.

“The suffering of the residents needs to be addressed, and the district administration and MCG are the ones who should speak for them rather than work against them by demolishing their homes and denying them amenities,” said RS Rathee, president of Gurgaon Citizen’s Council who had earlier led the protest.

IAF happy with checks on illegal construction

Courtesy: TNN

Indian Air Force officials have expressed satisfaction over measures taken by the district administration to prevent illegal construction within the restricted area of 900 metres of the IAF ammunition depot, in a meeting with deputy commissioner T L Satyaprakash on Friday.

“Our teams are keeping a check on any kind of illegal construction in the restricted area. The district administration is also looking into complaints of unauthorized constructions in the area. Any illegal structure will be razed off as soon as it is reported and strict action, including lodging of an FIR, will be taken against violators,” said Satyaprakash in the meeting.

On the role of police, deputy commissioner Sangeeta Kalia, who was present in the meeting, assured the IAf officials that prompt action would be taken “if any illegal activity in the restricted zone is reported to the police”.

In a recent meeting with the principal secretary to Haryana chief minister, Satyaprakash and MCG chief commissioner Vikas Gupta informed him that the expert committee, constituted by the Punjab and Haryana high court, had suggested that the restricted area should be kept only up to 300 metres.
The district administration has to prepare a report and submitted it to the high court on February 9.

Administration seeks relief for IAF residents in Gurgaon

Courtesy: TNN
The stance of the state government on the restricted 900-metre IAF zone to be articulated at the Punjab and Haryana high court when the case comes up for hearing on February 9 was the subject of high-level discussions here on Friday. The personal secretary to the Haryana chief minister held talks with the Gurgaon deputy commissioner and the MCG commissioner on the issue.

According to sources, deputy commissioner T L Satyaprakash and MCG commissioner Vikas Gupta told Sanjeev Kaushal that the expert committee constituted by the high court had suggested the restricted area should be kept only up to 300 metres instead of the current 900 metres. “The meeting was held to prepare a report that needs to be submitted to the high court on February 9. While no concrete decision was taken at the meeting, it was decided to ask the court that till such time that it is not decided whether the restricted limit should be 900 or 300 metres, the court should allow basic amenities to be provided to all the area residents,” an official said.

The authorities too are hoping that the court would provide some relief to the residents who are under constant threat of their homes being demolished by the MCG as their building plans are not approved.

“The land on which these homes are built belongs to the owners. However they are illegal as their building plans have not been approved by the municipal corporation and therefore face the possibility of demolition. We hope the court comes up with a solution wherein these people are not rendered homeless while preserving the security in the zone,” another official said.

“There is some talk about reducing the number of explosives in the ammunition depot so that in the event of an unfortunate incident, the casualties can be contained. However, this decision will have to be taken by the Air Force officials. We are also waiting for the Air Force authorities to submit a proposal to the high court, based on which we will take a final decision,” he said.

MCG demolishes illegal structure near IAF depot

Courtesy  TNN

The MCG on Tuesday partially demolished a building under construction on the Old Delhi-Gurgaon road, which was being built illegally within the restricted 900-metre stretch surrounding the IAF ammunition depot.

When asked why the entire building, located just opposite the Maruti plant, has not been demolished, MCG’s executive engineer N D Vashisht told TOI that it was because of an electric pole coming in the way.

“If we had brought down the entire structure, then the electric pole would have fallen down, leading to disruption of power supply in the area. Therefore, we demolished the building partially for the time being. In the days to come, we will demolish the entire building,” he said.

Residents claimed that construction was on in full swing, right under the nose of the MCG, despite the Punjab and Haryana high court imposing a blanket ban on any construction around a 900-metre radius of the IAF depot and reprimanding, on several occasions, the civic body and police for failing to stop construction of illegal structures there.

“Around five days ago, I had complained to the Air Force depot’s security officer. However, three days later when I had approached him again, he told me that as per rules, the Air Force can report about an illegal activity if it is only within 50 metres from its boundary,” said a resident, on condition of anonymity.

Deputy commissioner T L Satyaprakash has said that the MCG commissioner is liable to stop construction activity in the 900-metre restricted area.

MCG commissioner Vikas Gupta could not be contacted for comments.