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Aravalli forest land encroachments will be cleared: SC

The Supreme Court orally said on Friday that structures encroaching into the ecologically fragile Aravalli forest land at Lakarpur Khori in Haryana will be cleared.

The court had on June 17 refused to halt the demolition of about 10,000 unauthorised residential constructions encroaching into the forest land.

On June 7, it had directed the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to “take all essential measures to remove encroachments on the forest land without any exception”. The court had categorically said that “land-grabbers cannot take the refuge of the rule of law”.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari on Friday gave the Corporation four more weeks to complete the demolition. Additional Advocate General of Haryana, Arjun Bhardwaj, informed the court that 74 acres of land had been cleared.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, for some of the residents, said there was no effective rehabilitation policy for them. “The situation is very tragic. Everyone is on the streets. All houses are empty,” Mr. Gonsalves submitted. He highlighted the COVID-19 situation. He said the current policy suffered from defects.

The court pointed out that Mr. Gonsalves was referring to a draft policy. The Bench directed the Corporation to consider a representation to be made by Mr. Gonsalves for the residents before finalising the policy.

The court listed the case for hearing next on August 3.

Senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi, appearing for some residents who are on the Delhi side of the border, said the Delhi government needed to be impleaded in the case.

Both Mr. Tulsi and senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, also for residents, said the plight of the evictees was dire. Some were living under trees.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora referred to the appeal by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to halt the evictions. Ms. Arora said the evictions should be done in a phased manner.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 9:51:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/aravalli-forest-land-encroachments-will-be-cleared-sc/article35501034.ece

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