Now,Jaitley in Aravalli zone fighthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/now-jaitley-in-aravalli-zone-fight/

Now,Jaitley in Aravalli zone fight

Residents and property owners of upscale Kant Enclave in Faridabad are readying themselves for a legal tussle with the Haryana government after a Supreme Court-appointed committee sought demolition of all “encroached” property in the protected Aravalli zone.

* SC panel sought the bulldozers
* Arun Jaitley to fight case for residents of Kant Enclave,Faridabad
* Kapil Sibal among others with plot in ‘encroaching’ colony

Residents and property owners of upscale Kant Enclave in Faridabad are readying themselves for a legal tussle with the Haryana government after a Supreme Court-appointed committee sought demolition of all “encroached” property in the protected Aravalli zone.

BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley could be fighting the case on behalf of the residents. Jaitley,who said he owns plots in the controversial residential colony,told Newsline on Saturday: “I may have to appear in the case since some of the residents have approached me. I do not want to comment at this stage.”

Besides Jaitley,Union minister Kapil Sibal also owns a plot in Kant Enclave,Newsline has learnt. “Sibal had bought the plot for Rs 28 lakh some 15 years ago,” a Congress source close to Sibal said. “He has not visited the place since (but) if you look at the market value,just the interest is in crores now.”

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Besides the two lawyer-politicians,among other prominent persons owning property in Kant Enclave are Justice Arun Kumar,Justice H R Malhotra of High Court,and former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi.

Sources said Ahmadi,one of the “original residents” of the colony,has lived there for more than a decade.

‘Biased against private colonies’

Expressing their concern over the recent report submitted by the Supreme Court-appointed committee,residents said on Saturday that it contains several anomalies. They also called it “biased” in favour of residential complexes developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

“We have put our life’s savings into the properties here and one fine day we are told that all sanctions we obtained will be revoked — that our homes will be demolished,” said Brigader M B Anand (retd). He said Kant Enclave residents are ready to pay penalties,but only if they have been in the wrong. “We have legal sanctions and evidence of rightful ownership — like completion certificates,” he said.

Anand said the residents and property-owners in the enclave got approvals from the state government as well as the Centre. “Kant Enclave was granted licence on March 13,1974 under the Haryana Restriction on Development and Regulation of Colonies Act,1971. It predates the Forest Conservation Act,1980. Where are we at fault?”

Speaking on behalf of the residents,Anand said the committee’s report disregarded various government sanctions given to Kant Enclave,previous Supreme Court judgments,and recommendations of diversification the same committee gave in 2006.

He said the residents do not blame the developers of Kant Enclave for misguiding them,as the developer had obtained a gazette notification in December 1991 that gives clearance for residential activities after notifying it as a special zone. But,“we cannot comment whether officials who gave sanctions were competent enough to do so,” Anand said.

Sanjay Kaul,another resident,said,“Why has the committee agreed to exempt sectors under HUDA built almost a decade after we were given official clearance? Demolition is no solution; the committee should look at effective planning.”

Basu claimed the colony has earmarked 35 per cent of its area as green cover,“unlike sectors under HUDA”.

But S S Dhillon,Director (town and country planning),Haryana,told Newsline from Chandigarh that HUDA has been treated like “rest of the defaulters”. But,Dhillon said,“it has to be noted that the zone and expanse of sectors under HUDA that have been mentioned are of much bigger dimensions. So we cannot be treated at par with private developers who have acquired small areas.”

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About sanctions given to the developers by the same department years ago,Dhillon did not want to comment as the case is sub-judice.

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