In a nearly 12-hour anti-encroachment drive, the south district task force freed around 160 acres of government land at Bhatti village Tuesday — demolishing over 10 farmhouses and a number of illegal warehouses and sheds built by religious sects.
Three large farmhouses built on forest land were also sealed, District Magistrate (south) Amjad Tak said. In August, around 140 acres were retrieved from the same village, following their identification through a survey, while around 190 acres were freed at Asola village in March.
Tak told The Indian Express that 130 acres of land is yet to be retrieved at Bhatti village. Another demolition drive will be undertaken in the next fortnight, he said, adding that a few parcels of land could not be acted upon due to ongoing litigations.
“The drive started at 7 am and continued till 5.30 pm. There was no major law and order situation. The drive will continue till the retrieval of the entire government land. We are planning to complete the task by November,” Tak said.
As many as 20 JCBs (earth-movers) were deployed during the drive that saw the participation of personnel from the Delhi Police, Revenue Department, Forest Department, Irrigation and Flood Control Department staff and the BSES among others.
“Forest and gaonsabha lands were under encroachment of farmhouses. Most of the farmhouses were constructed in collusion with local land mafias. Before the drive, public notices were put up, including in leading newspapers. The encroachers were served notices on September 13,” a revenue department official said.
Similar action is planned in the villages of Sahoorpur, Deramandi and Asola, where total land of about 400 acres has been found under encroachment, the official added.