The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad began demolishing houses and buildings in Haryana's Khori Village on Wednesday afternoon following the Supreme Court's directions to remove the "illegal" encroachments last month. Locals, who have been living in the area for decades, have been protesting against a move which will render them homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an NDTV report about 150 houses were demolished on July 14. The Tribune reported that a total of eight teams had come down for the demolition exercise which will be carried out on close to 6,500 constructions over 172 acres of land.
“We have started demolition works today; our teams, JCBs, and a Poclain are in. We will implement the Supreme Court orders in letter and spirit,” MCF commissioner Garima Mittal told The Indian Express. Deputy commissioner Yashpal added that the body has begun "full-scale demolition. All structures will be demolished as per the orders and not just those that have been vacated."
The Haryana government said it has prepared a rehabilitation scheme for Khori slum dwellers of Faridabad under which they will get the EWS flats equipped with electricity, water and toilet facilities in nearby Dabua Colony and Bapu Nagar area, officials said on Tuesday.
Mittal had said a rehabilitation plan has been prepared for the people of the area who face eviction.
However, as per conditions laid down for the scheme, people who feature in the electoral list of the National Capital Region of Delhi will not be included.
Less than a week ago, between five to six thousand people from Faridabad's Khori village were detained by the Delhi Police with the villagers protesting against the impending demolition of houses in the area.
In a press release issued on July 8, the Khori Mazdoor Awas Sangharsh Samiti, an organisation representing the interests of the villagers, who are about to be rendered homeless, alleged that "people of the village are picked up and beaten up by the police in the police station" on a daily basis and cases are filed against them. With electricity and power supply to the village cut off, the organisation claimed that a number of deaths have taken place in the village due to the lack of water.
On June 7 the Supreme Court directed the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) to “take all essential measures to remove encroachments on the subject forest land without any exception.” For this exercise, the civic body was given six weeks.
The residents of Khori village, most of whom have been living in the region for the past 20 to 25 years, rue that they are being targeted. Moreover, the judgment that will render them homeless couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the families continue to reel under the pressure of the pandemic-induced economic challenges.
With PTI Inputs