After his under-construction house was deemed an “encroachment” and razed by the Gram Panchayat of Mandavgan Farata village, located in Shirur tehsil of Pune district, the same panchayat has given an Army soldier a piece of land 10 feet away from the earlier one. Incidentally, the earlier plot had also been granted by the same Gram Panchayat, which has again asked the soldier, Lance Naik Balu Chaugule, and his family to seek permission from the chief executive officer of the Zilla Parishad.
Watch What Else is Making News
Before his house was razed, Chaugule (25) had sought the CEO’s permission for the construction for nearly two years, but in vain.
In the ‘anti-encroachment drive’ in the village, conducted on December 28, the Gram Panchayat had razed just one more house. The family members of Chaugule had alleged that the action was taken because of “village politics”.
Chaugule, who is currently serving with 4 Guards (1st Rajput) and is posted at Jaisalmer, is currently visiting his village. His parents work as farm labourers and he has two brothers. For years, the family has lived in a rented house.
In 2014, Chaugule moved an application to the village Gram Panchayat, seeking a small piece of land to build a house for his family.
The Gram Panchayat granted his request and gave him the plot, but said the family will have to take permission from the Panchayat Samiti of Shirur for the construction of the house.
“In spite of my brother’s repeated applications to the Zilla Parishad, no permission was granted. Meanwhile, we got a loan… so we could start the construction. Now, after razing the house for no reason, the Gram Panchayat has granted another piece of land, but only after media coverage of the issue. But they want us to take permission again. What is the point… what about the losses that we have suffered because of the meaningless demolition,” said Chaugule’s brother Amol.
He added, “ What is even more surprising is when my brother went to the CEO of the Zilla Parishad, he was told that permission from that office is not needed. And we still have no place to live… we are currently living in a small shop in the village”.
When asked about the reason behind granting a new plot, when the earlier plot had been granted by the same Gram Panchayat, the village sarpanch Suvarna Farate said, “This is a new plot, located next to the road. The earlier one was an encroachment… that’s all I can say about this issue.”