Court seeks MoD reply on shifting Gurgaon IAF depot

Courtesy – TNN
GURGAON: The state government has made it amply clear to the ministry of defence that it should devise a plan at the earliest regarding the IAF ammunition depot located in the old city. According to a source, in the high court hearing on Friday, the chief secretary submitted an affidavit in which he stated that either the restricted area, which is 900 metres at present, should be reduced or compensation should be given to those residents who have to relocate.

The high court bench asked MoD authorities to prepare their reply and present it on January 31, 2014, when the matter comes up for hearing again.

“The air force officials have been directed to resolve this matter and file an affidavit before the next hearing. This issue can be resolved only by the administration in consultation with the ministry of defence. The court cannot do much in this matter. The IAF authorities have already said that the depot cannot be shifted elsewhere keeping in mind the issues related to national security. Therefore a solution needs to be worked out keeping in mind the residents who are living in the 900-metre area,” said Vinod Bhardwaj, MCG’s counsel.

“In the court it was also discussed whether the present radius of 900 metres can be reduced to say 400 or 500 metres, like it has been done in Faridabad. The court asked the IAF officials to have a humane approach and think with an open mind on how to resolve this problem as so many colonies have sprung up in this 900-metre zone and lakhs of residents will be affected and have to be relocated,” he said.

The MCG officials have already stated that in case the depot does not get shifted, the compensation will have to %paid by IAF and the compensation amount will be decided by the Gurgaon deputy commissioner.

Time Line of Gurgaon IAF Ammunition Depot Land Dispute

  1. The land for the ammunition depot was acquired in 1948, under the Work of Defence Act-1903, which imposes restriction on construction in a 900-metre area surrounding the depot.
  2. In 1971, Sector 14 and 17 were developed, and are allegedly in the prohibited area. HUDA claims that these sectors were developed by the erstwhile Estate Department.
  3. In 1974, Maruti was also given land to set up a factory, and a part of this land allegedly falls in the prohibited area.
  4.  In 1988, Sanjay Gram colony took shape, again allegedly within the same area. A court case was also filed by a resident in the same year, against the construction activity taking place in a prohibited zone.
  5.  In 1992, development started in Rajiv Nagar, again allegedly within the 900-metres. 
  6.  In 1990s, Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Sheetla Colony, Dharm Colony started developing, again allegedly in the prohibited zone.
  7.  In 1991, Justice Ashok Bhan gave directions that the government should first demolish the Maruti factory, and parts of HUDA sectors, before embarking upon demolition of the residential dwellings of the weaker sections of the society in the prohibited zone.
  8.  In 2008, RWA of Sector 17, Gurgaon filed a case based on these violations of the Defence Act. It requested the court to direct the government to ensure that illegal constructions in prohibited area are removed.
  9.  Public Interest Petition filed by Satish Sharma, a social activist of Gurgaon. Another Common Interest Petition filed by local politician and Ward no. 5 Councillor Gaje Singh Kablana, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  10.  Kablana approaches Supreme Court. On December 7, 2011 the Supreme Court stays all decisions of the Haryana High Court. Stays demolition till further orders.