Haldwani Railway Land Encroachment: Led By Congress MLA, Banbhoolpura Residents Move SC Against Uttarakhand HC Order
Residents of Banbhoolpura area in Uttarakhand's Haldwani on Monday moved the Supreme Court against a recent high court order for removal of encroachments from 29 acres of railway land in the town.
Led by Congress MLA from Haldwani, Sumit Hridayesh, residents of the area approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court's order, AICC secretary Qazi Nizamuddin said at a press conference.
The apex court will hear the matter on January 5, he said.
The Congress also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to take a humane view of the issue as removal of encroachments from the land will render 4,500 people homeless.
'They have been living in the area for 70 years. There is a mosque, temple, overhead water tank, a PHC, a sewer line laid in 1970, two inter colleges, and a primary school,' Nizamuddin, also a former MLA from Manglaur, said.
'We appeal to the prime minister, the railway ministry and the chief minister to take a humane view of the matter and stop the removal of so-called encroachments,' he said.
Nizamuddin also cast doubts over the railway's claims on the land, saying portions of it were given on lease.
'If it was railways land, how could the state government have given it on lease?' he said.
Thousands of residents of Banbhoolpura area had protested removal of encroachments, saying it will render them homeless and jeopardize the future of their school-going children.
There are a large number of women, children and the elderly among those to be affected by the removal of encroachments.
The Uttarakhand High Court had on 20 December ordered removal of encroachments from railway land in Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani after giving a notice to the residents one week in advance.
Meanwhile, Ravishankar Joshi, who had filed the petition on which the High Court had ordered the removal of illegal encroachments, has also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court.
The Railways, police and administration have made full preparations to demolish 4,365 illegal buildings on 78 acres of railway land in Muslim-dominated Banbhoolpura and Gafoor Basti in Haldwani.
Five RPF and five PAC companies have been deployed in the area, and 14 paramilitary forces companies will also arrive soon.
Rajendra Singh, public relations officer, Northeastern railway, Izzatnagar Division said, amid the orders of the high court, “We have issued a public notice on Sunday, asking people of Banbhoolpura in Haldwani area of Nainital district to remove 4,365 encroachments within seven days failing which demolition process will be started", reports Hindustan Times.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Nainital, Pankaj Bhatt said they would make adequate security arrangements for the anti-encroachment drive and as many as 14 companies of paramilitary forces would be deployed.
(With inputs from PTI)
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