MCG drafts compensation plan for 300m IAF zone

The MCG has prepared a plan to compensate families that live within a radius of 300 metres around the IAF ammunition depot’s restricted zone. A senior official in the civic body said a Rs 4,900-crore compensation plan had been drafted to create a new 300-metre restricted area around depot and submitted the plan to the chief minister. The Punjab and Haryana high court has told the state government it will consider a proposal of reducing the restricted zone around the ammunition depot from the current 900 metres only if it undertook to remove all encroachments in a 300-metre area. The high court’s directions came after the defence ministry said it wanted a 300-metre area around depot completely encroachment-free before formally notifying a new restricted zone. The 900-metre restircted area around the IAF depot has seen large-scale encroachment over the years, with thousands of families now living there without access to basic amenities. “As per rules, there is no provision to rehabilitate those who encroach on defence land,” said a highly placed source in MCG.

“The only way out is to compensate such encroachers. This is the reason we have been asked to work out a compensation amount that to be paid to the 1,400 families that are presently residing in the 300-metre area, in case they are removed,” the source added. The MCG estimates around 50,000 people live within a 300-metre radius of the IAF depot. Based on the number of families, this works out to Rs 35 lakh for each family. “However, since MCG does not have this money and will never be able to pay this sort of compensation, the state government will have to pay this money.

We have submitted the compensation report to the state government and the final decision will be taken by the chief minister himself,” the MCG source said. Opposition parties have opposed this plan. “By offering this compensation, the BJP government is trying to adopt a divide and rule policy. I have been fighting this case in the high court and Supreme Court and our demand is that the entire safety zone should be removed. We will not allow this 300-metre restriction to be imposed at any cost,” said Congress councillor Gaje Singh Kablana. The next date of hearing is on November 17

Court defers IAF depot decision

Courtesy TNN

The two lakh residents living in the area within 900 metres surrounding the IAF ammunition depot failed to get any relief from the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday. The court postponed the matter for hearing on July 17.

According to the area councillor who was present in the court, Gaje Singh Kablana, the judge deferred the matter after the counsel representing the Centre informed the court that the decision on the issue is yet to be taken by the Cabinet, and sought three months’ time.

Residents complained that despite assurances from the chief minister, the case is yet to be resolved. “The chief minister, local MLAs and the MP keep talking about the possibility of reaching a decision favourable to residents, but the court has still not given its final verdict. The court keeps postponing the hearing as the government has failed to make its stand clear. It appears that both the state and the central government want to keep lingering since this 900 metre issue can be used in future to garner votes as has been done in the past as well,” said Mukesh Kumar, a Palam Vihar extension resident.

Later in the day some of the area residents met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi, who assured them that he will come into this matter.

MCG notice at variance with Supreme Court order

Ambiguity continues to prevail over the fate of thousands of houses that fall within 900 metres of the IAF ammunition depot. Even though the Supreme Court last week directed status quo to be maintained in the matter, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has issued a notice stating that the unauthorized structures will be demolished in compliance to the Punjab and Haryana high court order.

Last week, the MCG had filed an FIR against 55 people out of which 24 have already been arrested for carrying out construction within the restricted zone. According to sources, the authorities seem to be only following the directions given by the high court in 2008 to demolish these unauthorized colonies keeping aside the Supreme Court order given by justice D K Jain and justice Anil Dave.

However, the local councillor who petitioned the Supreme Court against the high court order is planning to move a contempt of court application. “What the authorities are doing is a clear violation of the Supreme Court order. They cannot do so and I am planning to file an application in this regard. The court has clearly directed that status quo in respect of nature, title and possession of the subject property be maintained. Till the next hearing in the case, nobody can demolish the structures that came up in the area before December 7, 2011,” said Gaje Singh Kablana.

In a press release issued on Monday, the MCG had stated that all the authorized structures falling within 900 metres of the ammunition depot and within 100 metres from the Arjangarh Air Force Station would be demolished and the cost incurred in demolishing them would be borne by the owners themselves.

Source: TNN Joel Joseph

Gaje Singh Kablana – Our Superhero

Gaje Singh Kablana, the Councillor of Ward No. 5 is beaming, and so are his supporters. Numbers are swelling constantly at his office near Palam Vihar Extension, on Wednesday afternoon. Celebrations are starting. Dressed in a pristine white kurta pyjama, Kablana is ecstatic as he informs people about the Supreme Court decision delivered that day –  staying the demolition of structures in the 900 metres disputed area around the Air Force Ammunition Depot. This territory falls within his Ward.

Kablana is fighting the court case on behalf of the affected people residing in the disputed land. He has just returned from the Supreme Court with the good news.

A major part of Ward no. 5 falls in the disputed area  – and includes Sheetla Colony, Sheetla Enclave Phase 1,2,3; Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Ashok Vihar Extension-B, Dharm Colony and nearby areas. Kablana asserts that the government will be forced to provide justice to the people living in these areas; as they have invested hard earned money to buy land here.

“Not even a single brick will be demolished as humanity is on our side,” says Kablana. He is unhappy with the way the MCG and the administration are functioning in the city. No one wants to work for the people, says the Councillor. 

Kablana informs that a Supreme Court Bench, comprising Justice Jain and Justice Dave, has given a stay order on all the decisions given by the Haryana High Court – pertaining to the disputed land around the ammunition depot. “The Court has issued notices to all the stake holders—including the defence authorities—to find a reasonable solution to the problem. This could either be shifting of the depot, or denotifying the area – as it is inhuman to play with the lives of lakhs of people,” says Kablana, much to the happiness of his supporters.

The government of Haryana has been clearly instructed that all constructions till December 7, 2011 will remain as they are, in the 900 metre disputed area; and no demolitions should take place. He also asked the people to refrain from building anything further.

Kablana informs that he has been fighting the case against the government single-handedly; and now the 900-metre Sangharsh Samiti has joined hands with him to fight against this injustice. “Our contention is that the Haryana High Court has issued double orders in the same case, and this is wrong. Secondly, why is the High Court silent on the  demolition of HUDA colonies and the Maruti factory, that also fall in the disputed area,” he alleges.

In addition to the problems related to the disputed area, Kablana says that officials have stopped issuing power connections to house owners, and that is creating a lot of problems. “Where will people go in the darkness? The roads are in a bad condition, the sewage and sanitation system is absent in this Ward, and we are left with no time. We are expending our energies just fighting for justice,” he says.

Kablana is one of the rare MCG Councillors who has passed an MA course, and also holds an MBA degree. His seventeen year stint in the Air Force, he says, is helping him in the social and political work; as he is very organised and disciplined.

“My family is very happy and supportive of the work I am doing for the society. I have two sons and a daughter.  Though they want me to spend more time with them, they like it when people come to me and appreciate the work we  do,” he says; referring to the throng of supporters who are now planning for the next parliamentary elections.