Officials spare houses after villagers protest

The Gautam Budh Nagar administration,in collaboration with the Noida Authority,on Wednesday began a week-long demolition drive of illegal structures that have come up on the Hindon floodplains in Noida.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Published:February 16, 2012 3:41 am

The Gautam Budh Nagar administration,in collaboration with the Noida Authority,on Wednesday began a week-long demolition drive of illegal structures that have come up on the Hindon floodplains in Noida. However,when residents of the area protested,they decided to spare inhabited structures and,instead,raze boundary walls erected by builders to demarcate plots.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Gyanendra Singh,who arrived at the spot around 2 pm,told villagers,“We have decided to only demolish uninhabited structures in nine villages along the Hindon floodplains. We are also demolishing all boundary walls erected by builders to demarcate plots. Selling these plots as residential areas is completely illegal because no permanent structure is allowed on a floodplain. We are demolishing boundary walls because the plots are yet to come up,and we want to remove any notion that this land belongs to builders who bought them illegitimately.”

Officials from the district administration said they have decided to leave residential plots that have already come up because most people have registered plots. “Registry of these plots for all purposes was shut two years ago. However,while it is illegal,people living on the floodplains have had their plots registered through no fault of theirs. We will investigate which builders,in full knowledge that these plots lie in the floodplain,sold land to unsuspecting buyers,and which officials were involved. They will all be prosecuted,” said Singh.

Earlier that morning,farmers had refused to let six JCBs recruited by the Noida Authority and district administration further up the floodplain. Naresh Yadav,pradhan of Sorkha village,said,“How can they demolish structures without serving formal notices?”

It was only after Sub-Divisional Magistrate Anant Dev reassured the villagers that they allowed the JCBs and police personnel to advance to Kakraula village. “The drive will go on until all illegal structures,except homes,are razed,” he said.

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