To deter people from encroaching on government land in Panchkula, the Haryana Urban Development (HUDA) is mulling to get an FIR lodged with the local police against the encroaches. In Panchkula, prime government land has been encroached upon at many places. Though, HUDA regularly carries out demolition drives, but the method has so far failed to serve as an effective deterrent. Within few days of the drive, the encroachments resettled at the same place.
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HUDA Estate Officer (EO) Virat Kumar said that the enforcement wing carried out several drives in Old Panchkula and other places to remove encroachers, but they resettled back at many places. Terming it a cause of concern, Kumar said that they are now planning to lodge an FIR against people who re-encroach upon government land. “The encroachers will be booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Kumar.
Not only this, encroachments in commercial areas are also prevalent in the city. Traders are illegally occupying corridors in front of their shops, especially in Sector 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15. Most of the encroachments are temporary in nature, but in some cases, traders have also constructed concrete platforms in front of their shops.
In the last few years, the RWA’s have been taking up the issue with the authorities. Last year, HUDA had conducted a survey to identify areas affected by encroachments, but so far has failed to tackle the problem.
The EO have cited acute staff shortage as hurdle in tackling the problem. The enforcement wing has to manage its affair with a mere 25 employees, which include junior engineers and supervisors. To overcome the constrain of staff shortage, HUDA has started seeking help from municipal corporation. “Recently, encroachments were removed from Sector 7 market. The drive was carried out with the help of the enforcement wing of the corporation,” he said.
Rakesh Aggarwal, general secretary of Lok Saravhitkari Society, also greed that despite Panchkula being a planned city, encroachment poses a serious problem. “MC and HUDA will have to work together for addressing the problem,” Aggarwal added.