Demolition Drive Clears 197 Acre Of Govt Land In Delhi’s Asola Village
On March 14, almost all the illegal structures built over 42 plots in an area of 197 acres in Delhi’s Asola village were demolished. Illegal structures that are still standing would be brought down on March 15. Working on the direction of a Supreme Court-appointed panel, Delhi’s revenue department initiated the demolition work on Wednesday. According to media reports, the area had in total 100 illegal structures with a value of Rs 3,000 crore.
How the story unfolded
A monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court (SC) had ordered the demolition move, after it performed an inspection of the location on February 19. The demolition was done with the help of 20 earth-moving machines, 100 civil defence volunteers and about 600 police personnel. The revenue department, which is the custodian of all lands and deals with all land disposals, has carried out the task.
As observed by the demolition team, the land belonged to various government departments, but the occupants had invaded the property by digging bore-wells, felling the trees and running illegal small-scale stone mining units. A notice for removal of the encroachments was also sent to the owners of 42 properties, but was not adhered to. Most of these properties were farmhouses which have now been subjected to extensive demolition in accordance with the orders of the apex court.
One of the properties also belonged to former Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, Tejendra Khanna, whose farmhouse covered around 2,000 square metre of land owned by the gram sabh. It was also seized by the government. There were around 30 acres of Gram Sabha land which had been transferred to private individuals by tampering land records.
Known for the Asola-Bhatti wildlife sanctuary, the Asola village is also a haven for many encroachers who have been responsible for tampering with the forest boundaries by building farmhouses and construction approach roads illegally. Some of the structures were built right inside the sanctuary. The locality has been south Delhi’s epicentre for several fraudulent land deals, involving the land mafia and lower revenue officials, say media reports.
With inputs from Housing News