June 9, 2022 1:50:46 am
Around 15 farmhouses and structures built along the Yamuna floodplains in Noida’s Sector 135 were demolished Wednesday in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive by the Noida Authority.
The drive began in the morning, with demolition being carried out in a 10-hectare area, near Asdullapur village, officials said. Noida Authority officials were accompanied by irrigation department officers, five JCB machines and three dumper trucks. Officials said the land on which the illegal structures are built is worth Rs 50 crore.
As per the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Act, 1976, any construction in floodplain zone is illegal and impermissible under law, and Noida Authority has warned against the rapid construction in the area, adding that such structures will be demolished and legal action can be initiated against the builder/developer.
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In order to curb illegal encroachment, the authority put up notices in the area, along with updates about the drives that have been organised. These notifications are also available on the website of the authority, officials said.
According to Prasun Dwivedi, Officer on Special Duty (OSD)/Land, the notices are put up on main roads, right outside the areas where the farmhouses are located. “It is difficult to identify developers of these structures hence we place the notice about the demolition drive on the main road leading to the farmhouses as well as publish it on our website,” Dwivedi said.
A farmhouse allegedly owned by one Deepak Jain, founder of NEER, an independent groundwater management consultancy organisation in Noida, was among those demolished.
Jain claimed that the demolition was carried out despite him having registered it as agricultural land with the registrar’s office last year.
“The area in Asdullapur village is the only area which can be registered as agricultural land with the registrar’s office. The farmhouse was constructed with the purpose of disseminating information to school students about environmental management, rainwater harvesting and solid waste management. This purpose is also mentioned in the registered document,” he said, adding that he was not issued a notice about the demolition.
According to environmental lawyer Akash Vashishtha, the construction of any structure in a floodplain has serious impact on the surface and sub-surface ecology. “Floodplains recharge rivers during lean season when there are lesser ecological flows in it. They are an integral part of the river ecosystem, and river must not be locked in isolation from its floodplains. In most cases, structures constructed in floodplains do not have a sewage system and all discharge flows into nearby streams and rivers. All these structures are illegal under the AIR (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 unless there is a ‘Consent to Establish’ granted under the said laws by the state pollution control board,” Vashishtha said.
In an order passed in May 2013, the National Green Tribunal put a restrain on illegal and unauthorised construction on the floodplain zone of river Yamuna in the NCT of Delhi, State of Haryana and State of Uttar Pradesh.
Officials said there will be sustained anti-encroachment drives, especially in Yamuna floodplain zone, over the next few weeks. On June 1, an anti-encroachment drive was carried out by Noida Authority razing farmhouses in Tilwada village, Sector-150.
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