Khori village: SC asks civic body to give details of structures not demolished with justification

  • | Monday | 20th September, 2021

New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday directed the Faridabad municipal corporation to furnish area-wise details of structures, if any, standing on the Aravali forest land in Khori village which have not been demolished along with justification as to why they were not removed.The apex court, which was hearing the matter pertaining to Khori village where unauthorised structures which came under Aravali forest area were removed, said the corporation may also indicate what steps they have taken to remove the debris of the unauthorised structures which have been razed.A bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was informed by the counsel appearing for the municipal corporation that up to September 15, a total of 2,391 applications have been received by the civic body from persons for rehabilitation, out of which 892 applicants have been found to be prima facie eligible.Senior advocate Arun Bhardwaj, appearing for the municipal corporation, said the 892 applicants, prima facie found to be eligible, were contacted by civic body officials and 302 of them turned up on Monday to collect the provisional allotment letters.The bench, while noting that modalities suggested by it earlier regarding provisional allotment of houses are being rolled out by the corporation in right earnest, told Bhardwaj that civic body will have to furnish details of structures which have not been demolished and are standing on the forest land along with the justification.It said: “We direct the Commissioner of Faridabad Municipal Corporation to submit a chart area-wise disclosing the structures standing on forest land which have not been demolished with justification for non-demolition of unauthorised structures, if any, before the next date of hearing,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on October 22.“In addition, the corporation may also indicate the steps taken to remove the debris of demolished structures or process the same to make it environment friendly and compliant”.It said the debris will have to be removed soon otherwise other structures might come up there.At the outset, Bhardwaj told the bench that the proposed schedule for the process of allotment of EWS (Economically Weaker Section) flats under the rehabilitation scheme to eligible applicants has been re-aligned.He said now, the last date of submission of application is November 15 and for final scrutiny, including verification of documents, it is November 25.He said date for publication of final list of eligible applicants is November 29 and the draw will be held on December 2.He said the proposed date for issuance of final allotment letter is now December 15 this year.The proposed timeline submitted earlier in the court had indicated April 30 next year for handing over possession of EWS flats to the eligible applicants. The apex court had on September 14 observed that this proposed time period is too long.The corporation’s counsel told the court on Monday that after provisional allotment letters will be given to those who have been found prima facie eligible, they would be asked to move into these flats and in case of any maintenance related difficulty, the same will be rectified as soon as it is pointed out to the authority.“That is what was expected,” the bench said.The corporation’s counsel said the total number of available flats is around 2000 and the number of houses demolished at Khori village were higher.The bench said the information regarding re-scheduled dates be placed before it by way of an affidavit.The top court also heard submissions regarding the eligibility criteria mentioned in the "Housing plan for rehabilitation of Khori (Lakkarpur revenue estate) Jhuggi dwellers sitting on land owned by Municipal Corporation Faridabad".Senior advocates Colin Gonsalves and Sanjay Parikh, who were appearing for some of the petitioners, raised the issue regarding eligibility criteria.While Gonsalves said very few persons will actually pass the test of eligibility criteria, Parikh said it is “very restrictive”.“Without applying, it will not be possible for us to know whether he is eligible or not,” the bench observed, adding, “Let these people apply, they will verify the position and they will take a stand”.Parikh also referred to the eligibility criteria of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’.Bhardwaj told the bench that he would take instructions on the issue of eligibility criteria.The bench said it would hear arguments on this issue on September 27.It also dealt with the issue of down payment for the allotment of flats.The bench suggested Bhardwaj to consider the possibility of involving some banks to give loans to the people who would be eligible but might need financial help.During the hearing, the bench reiterated that corporation would proceed against unauthorised structures standing on forest land.On September 14, the municipal corporation had "in-principle agreed" before the court to roll out provisional allotment of houses for rehabilitation of eligible people.On June 7, the top court had directed Haryana and Faridabad municipal corporation to remove “all encroachments”, consisting around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near the village, saying “land grabbers cannot take refuge of rule of law” and talk of “fairness”. 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