Clear squatters on Sikanderpur drain land: NGT 

Gurugram: 18 Dec, 2018 (Hindustan Times)

GURUGRAM: Directing the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to remove encroachments from natural drain in Sikanderpur at the earliest, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) disposed of the one-year-old petition filed by activist Haridner Dhingra.

 According to the petition, encroachments affected the natural flow of the drain and increased chances of flash floods.

“The MCG is directed that in case there is any encroachment on the drain the same should be removed immediately in accordance with the law,” the NGT’S December 13 order stated.

The NGT also directed Dhingra, whose petition stated that a big portion of the Sikanderpur drain is encroached upon by the land mafia, to file a contempt case against the MCG if he is not satisfied with the action taken.

Dhingra, who filed the plea in September 2017, said, “The MCG, in its affidavit to the NGT, admitted to encroachments on the drain and sent eviction notices to encroachers two years ago. But not a single encroachment has been removed by the MCG. I will file contempt case if encroachment is not removed within a month or two.”

Sikanderpur drain originates in the Aravalli Range near G-block of DLF 1, passes through the village from under the Rapid Metro and DMRC Metro and ends near Q-block in DLF 2. The petition contended that 20 acres of the total 40 acres of drain land, scattered across the four khasras of 352, 372, 473 and 482, are encroached upon—almost 50% of the total land.

The petition also highlighted that such encroachments affect the natural flow of the drain, increase chances of flash floods. The encroachments, petition stated, also hamper groundwater recharge in the city, which is already overly dependent on groundwater for its daily needs.

Dhingra, who has been fighting against encroachment in the Sikanderpur natural drain, said the drain is roughly 50 feet wide and 20 to 25 feet deep.

“About 20 acres fall in khasras 352 and 372. This is fully encroached by locals and some developers who were made respondents in our case,” said Ravinder Yadav, a resident of Sikanderpur, who has raised the issue of encroachment before all local development agencies, the state government and even the Prime Minister’s Office. However, no action has been taken against the squatters, all of whom were made respondents in the case.

Though the MCG has been issuing notices to squatters, it is yet to act against any of them.

Responding to Thursday’s order, MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav said, “We will definitely act as per the NGT order to remove encroachments.”