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News: In lockdown, encroachers laid siege to land the size of JNU campus in Gurgaon-12-06-2021


Gurgaon: While officials of the department of town and country planning (DTCP) were busy in Covid duties and looking the other way, encroachers were making hay.
A spike in the number of complaints related to mushrooming of illegal colonies has led the DTCP to conduct 130 demolition drives, register 20 FIRs and free up around 1,000 acres — almost the size of the JNU campus — from encroachers. These complaints were lodged between April last year and this May, much of which was covered by the Covid-induced lockdown and when inspections were suspended.
Apart from Gurgaon, DTCP’s demolition drive was conducted in Sohna, Pataudi, Farukhnagar and Bhondsi. Among those mentioned in the FIR were a former MLA and an ex-councillor.


District town planner (enforcement) RS Batth said the illegal colonies were coming up not only in licenced pockets but also in urban areas. “There were some prominent persons against whom the FIRs were registered. They included former MLA Umesh Aggarwal, former councillor Gaje Singh Kablana and other prominent persons. The complaints were lodged against them for backing the construction of the colonies,” he added.

None of these politicians could be reached for a comment on the allegations against them.

Apart from getting FIRs registered, the DTCP has also decided to recover from the offenders the cost of demolition of the illegal colonies they had raised. “Recovery notices worth Rs 20 lakh have been issued against the offenders over the past one month. In case they fail to deposit the amount, it would be recovered as arrears of land revenue,” Batth said.

Under the new online registration system, land owners have to apply for no objection certificates (NOC) for registration of areas that are less than 1 acre in size. According to Section 7A of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, sale deeds of small plots cannot be registered without an NOC from the DTCP.

“The department received 758 applications for NOCs. But only 218 permissions were granted and 540 applications rejected till May 30,” he said.

Despite the applications being rejected, the developers went ahead with the construction of their colonies, which is why they were termed illegal.

Not just FIRs, DTCP also sealed and demolished a number of other colonies. The department also granted no-nuisance consultancy permissions to professionals such as doctors, architects and property dealers, allowing them to practise from their residential buildings.

According to norms, no commercial activity, except a few, can be allowed from residential buildings. Batth explained that there were a few professions that fell under the non-nuisance category and could be allowed from residential buildings if permission was taken.

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