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Aravallis: Haryana digs out old Act to halt bulldozers

In what comes as a relief to residents of several Faridabad pockets,the Haryana government on Tuesday proposed an amnesty scheme for a few localities — “legally” exempting them from demolition.

Written by Tannu Sharma | New Delhi |
March 18, 2009 11:23:26 pm

State urges SC to exempt Kant Enclave,Lakewood City from demolition

In what comes as a relief to residents of several Faridabad pockets,the Haryana government on Tuesday proposed an amnesty scheme for a few localities — “legally” exempting them from demolition.

The Bhupinder Singh Hooda government filed a reply in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that indicates the state would do its bit to protect residents of Kant Enclave and Lakewood City after the centrally-empowered committee (CEC) recommended “large-scale demolition” in these areas.

The brief reply,filed by state Chief Secretary Dharam Vir,was in response to the CEC’s report. The state’s Town and Country Planning Department informed that 425 acres in Kant Enclave was granted exemption by the state more than two decades ago. “It would be in the interest of justice that the construction that has come up in pursuance to the exemption may be allowed to exist,” the Chief Secretary said,urging the court to consider this while taking up the matter for further directions.

It also informed the apex court that similar exemption was also granted to Lakewood City. But the state had not granted permission to Karamyogi Shelters Private Limited and Kenwood Mercantile,indicating no relief for people staying in these multi-storeyed apartments.

In January this year,a court-appointed high-powered environment panel recommended the demolition of encroachments in these upmarket areas of the ecologically-fragile zone in Faridabad.

However,in the previous hearing,the Supreme Court had also hinted at a reprieve for residents. After senior advocate Harish Salve on February 13 informed the court that authorities had started threatening residents with bulldozers,the bench — led by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan — observed,“demolition may not be the solution.”

The court had since then ordered a “status quo” on further action,agreeing that issues need detailed examination. As scheduled,the matter will be taken up for consideration on Wednesday.

The CEC’s report,accompanied with satellite imagery,has identified colonisation in areas falling within the Aravalli zone. It has recommended the entire Aravalli range area be treated as “a prohibited zone for mining,barring specific locations,to ensure their environmental sustainability.”

Subsequently,it suggested the demolition of certain colonies,farmhouses,banquet halls and other buildings that were identified as “illegal constructions” in areas such as Kant Enclave,Karmyogi Shelter Private Limited and Lakewood City,among others.

The state pointed out on Tuesday that vide Section 23 of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Acts,1975,Kant Enclave was exempted from the law regarding constructions on April 17,1984.

Similarly,Eros City Developers Private Limited got exemption on December 30,1995 for Lakewood City.

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