Political parties are the real culprits of encroachment in cities and big towns, all parties are involved. Be it national or regional. The encroached colonies act as bulk vote banks of political party leaders.
The twin towers of corruption in Noida were demolished by order of the Supreme Court. Illegally erected towers were certainly demolished, but the cloud raised by it raises many questions. The biggest and most important question is why such a situation arises that any permanent-temporary property created by encroachment is demolished by court order. This is not the first time that encroachments have been struck down by a court order, as the Supreme Court, state high courts and local courts have already delivered hundreds of judgments against encroachment on residential, forest and commercial activities in government land.
The question is whether the government and officials will open their eyes after the demolition of this tower. Will there be any such campaign against the encroachments spreading in the country so that the people can breathe a sigh of relief? The Supreme Court, on 14 August 2020, in the case of MC Mehta v Central Government, declared encroachment on public land illegal and gave directions to remove it. Similarly, in a decision delivered in December 2017, the Supreme Court directed to remove all encroachments on railway property. The decision also instructed to take action against the officials responsible for the encroachment. Earlier, the Supreme Court in its judgment dated July 21, 2022 directed the Center and Haryana government to remove encroachment on 1100 acres of forest land in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts. Due to this decision of the Supreme Court, the hands of the administration and the Haryana government are swollen. On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court directed the Haryana government and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to demolish 10,000 undeveloped residential structures in the hilly areas of the Aravalli range. These are encroachment cases that have somehow reached the Supreme Court. There are lakhs of encroachment cases in the country, which have not reached the courts, neither the local administration nor the state governments are concerned about them. In votebank terms such encroachments are bar hives, where surrender means migration of votebanks, which no political party can accept.
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Political parties are the real culprits of encroachment in cities and big towns, all parties are involved. Be it national or regional. The encroached colonies act as bulk vote banks of political party leaders. Regional leaders hit the road to remove the encroachment of such settlements. From councilors to MPs and ministers, trespassers are protected. In such a situation, no one in the administration has the courage to remove the encroachers from the government land. This is the reason why the encroachment of Bangladeshis has not been removed from the country till date. Bangladeshis are spreading like poison all over the country in the name of being residents of Cooch Behar and Bengal. An example of the extent to which political parties protect illegal settlements is Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal government, which has already made it clear that not a single Bangladeshi will be deported. The reason is obvious that majority of Bangladeshis are Muslims and they are a big vote bank of Mamata Banerjee.
The cases of encroachment are increasing day by day. According to the rules, each city local body claims to establish the city as per the master plan for the city settlement and its sub-plan. However, there is hardly any city in the country which has been developed according to a prescribed master plan. In this, the nefarious connivance of officials-leaders and contractors decide how to execute the plan by twisting it for personal gain. The city’s traffic problem, encroachment is becoming a major barrier to access to parks and other public places. Forest areas and pastures have become easy prey for land encroachment. A large number of such encroachments are spread across the country. The passions of the encroachers are so high that forest areas, swampy areas, dams, river banks and many mountain areas have been swallowed up to the mountain.
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Biodiversity of the country is under threat due to the ever-increasing encroachment of forest areas. Examples are the increase and intensification of natural disasters due to deterioration of ecological balance. The country’s national parks, considered the safest, are not immune to encroachment. The number of wildlife is decreasing due to deforestation. It is built on the existence of animals like tigers and lions at the top of the food chain. Wildlife is suffering a double whammy. On one hand their hunting area is decreasing due to encroachment and on the other hand the threat of poaching is increasing.
The disappearing mountains in the Aravalli range are direct evidence of the encroachment story. Dozens of parts of this hill range from Rajasthan to Haryana have been affected by illegal mining. The mining mafia did not accomplish this feat in a day. This cycle has been going on for decades. Many governments came and went but the hill kept disappearing. The National Green Tribunal and the courts have also issued several orders against this illegal mining, but the governments have never shown firmness in complying with the court orders. He fulfilled his duty by taking symbolic action out of fear of the court. After the Twin Towers demolition, the loose government staff will no doubt come into action only when the courts issue such strict orders against encroachment and send those responsible directly to jail. In such circumstances it has become futile to expect anything from the government.
– Yogendra Yogi