The High Court of Punjab & Haryana has restrained the Railways from dispossession of residents & demolition of 1,000 odd houses in Sant Nagar locality of Faridabad.
The HC Bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia acted on the plea of Chandan Singh & 195 others, the residents who had approached the Court challenging Aug 14 notices of railway administration affixed on houses & in the colony about demolition to be carried out on Aug 22.
While restraining against demolition & dispossession of residents, the High Court has sought response from Haryana, Railways & Centre by Sept 7.
Their lawyer Vaibhav Jain said the notices were the result of an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Oct 2018 directing the Railways to form a special task force (STF) to remove occupation from the railway land.
Sant Nagar Colony is an identified slum & in existence since the 60s. In 2016, the area was selected to be developed as a ‘Smart Slum’ & ₹12 crore was allotted by Faridabad Smart City Limited for the development of the area, Jain said, adding that the development works regarding water supply, sewerage, drainage, road improvement, community toilet, landscaping, & smart solar LED streetlights were started in 2018 & currently underway. The colony has a population of approximately 2,500, he said.
The Court was told that the ‘cryptic’ notice affixed in the locality does not mention a date or any issuing authority. Furthermore, the petitioners were never granted personal hearing which is in total violation of the principle of natural justice.
Petitioners haven’t been told as to how they are in unauthorised occupation since they have electricity & sewerage connections, & the land belongs to various authorities apart from the Railways.