Gurgaon Civic Authority Cracks Down On Squatters, Illegal Occupants
After Delhi, the illegal constructions in Gurgaon has come under the scanner of civic authorities as major drives are being conducted across the town to remove squatters and encroachments from the streets and the residential colonies. Recently, the enforcement wing of the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) demolished around 66 structures in an unauthorised colony in Bhangrola. The colony was built on a six-acre land without any approval from the authorities. Before this, the department also demolished around a dozen structures in Badshapur village near the Gurugram-Sohna Road.
Earlier, three enforcement teams from the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) removed illegal occupants from 11 areas in the city which includes Sadar Bazaar, Jacobpura, Rajiv Chowk, Sohna Road, Subhash Chowk, Tikri village, sectors 40, 44, 45, Silokhra and Sikanderpur. These encroachments were also causing congestion on arterial roads.
What posed a major threat were the shanties that have come up in areas such as Sector 40, 44 and 55. These localities are already crammed and no rescue relief is possible in case of emergency.
Before this, an anti-encroachment drive was conducted on the road leading to Artemis Hospital in Sector 51 to make space for streamlining traffic movement. The heavy congestion on the road was due to the presence of a multispeciality hospital on the stretch with vehicles parked on both sides of the road. Reportedly, commuters used to take more than 10-15 minutes to cross the 1.2-kilometre stretch during the rush hour due to the perennial snarls.
Last year, acting on the complaints from the Golf Course Extension Road residents, action has been taken to remove occupants who have encroached upon the sidewalks. The entire green belt area on Golf Course Extension Road, from sectors 62-65, was taken over by several nurseries and roadside eateries that have come up over the years but was removed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority.
Further, the municipal corporation will also take action on shop owners encroaching upon or leasing out spaces in front of their outlets in a bid to free up driveways and reduce snarls in marketplaces.
While squatters have remained a problem in Gurgaon, the crackdown is very recent. The surveillance has increased over a period of time as the authority is receiving regular complaints from the residents. Also, Principal Accountant General of Haryana has asked MCG to carry out a survey on the extent of encroachments in the city and to submit a status report in the cases. According to the municipal records around 385 acres of civic land has been illegally occupied till Feb 2018.
In the coming time, the MCG will be using the assistance of geographical information system for identifying encroachments. An app will be launched to 3D map and keep a tab on encroachment in Gurgaon. It is being developed with the help of Haryana Space Application Center (HSAC) to do an online mapping of the city and mark important monuments, roads, localities with actual place and structures. High-tech control rooms are being developed under the supervision of GDMA at the cost of Rs 3 crore, to monitor the app. It has also started a helpline number—1800-180-1817—for residents to lodge complaints against squatters.