The principal committee constituted to examine delineation of boundaries along the Yamuna’s floodplains has recommended against the regularisation of several colonies in southeast, east and north Delhi that have been included in the list of 895 unauthorised colonies for regularisation.
The report, prepared in February this year, will be submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) after a survey carried out by the committee revealed that the areas lie on a vulnerable spot on the active floodplains, which can prove “dangerous in the long run”.
Sources said the committee has also recommended that sale and purchase of properties in these areas, as well as all construction work, be stopped “with immediate effect”.
Reportedly, some of the colonies identified by the committee in the survey include Abu Fazal Enclave, Batla House and Jaitpur in southeast Delhi, Sonia Vihar in east Delhi and Jagatpur in north Delhi. Officials said there were “several more areas lying on the active floodplains that had to be looked into”.
“These areas have been established over the years. There are too many houses located haphazardly and there are fears of all of them being destroyed wholly in case of an earthquake or a flood. The dangers of a flood are still less compared to that of an earthquake. Additionally, the pace of construction in these areas is rapid and unless such drastic steps are taken to stall such works, nothing can be changed,” a senior official, who is on the committee, said.
Sources said committee members agreed that it would be impossible to demolish structures since they had been around for years. Additionally, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has stressed on regularising all these structures.
“It will be quite a task to demolish these areas since people have set up their base over the years. Therefore, we have to ensure that no further damage is done and that further construction is stopped immediately. People have to understand that this is serious and that the steps are being taken in their interest to prevent drastic consequences,” the official said.
Sources said in all, 37 years of flood data had been used for delineation and physical demarcation of floodplains.
The NGT, in an order in January 2015, had set heavy penalties for those found polluting the Yamuna and issued a slew of directions as part of its “Maily se Nirmal Yamuna” Revitalisation Project 2017. Among the measures recommended by the principal committee are steps to keep floodplains free of encroachment.
“All settlements encroaching upon the floodplain (with the exceptions noted in the detailed report) should be relocated at the earliest,” the Tribunal had said in its order.
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