The khori village, situated in Faridabad on the border of Delhi-Haryana is allegedly said to be built upon forest land of the Aravalli range regulated under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 (PLPA).
The apex court on 7th June directed the Municipal Corporation of Haryana and Faridabad to demolish houses and evict people stating that the village is encroaching on the Aravalli forest range.
More than 10,000 families belonging to the lower worker class are living on the edge with the threat of their houses being demolished at any moment.
Electricity and water supplies have already been halted to force people to evict their homes at any cost.
SC has given an ultimatum of six weeks to evict the illegal occupants with the statement, “Land grabbers can’t take refuge under rule of law and talk of fairness.”
A plea has been filed stating reconsidering the demolition and to take measures for rehabilitation before demolition.
“All around the world, people are being encouraged to stay indoors as a house is the most effective frontline defense against the covid-19 pandemic, therefore, evicting the slum dwellers at Khori Gaon during pandemic would make them vulnerable to the disease,” the plea stated.
Further, the bench has left the decision of rehabilitation and compensation on the state government.
But has strictly remained on the grounds that forest land has to be cleared and no concession will be given regarding the forest land irrespective of Covid.
Although the Haryana government is planning on the rehabilitation program, residents who are not from Haryana and without valid ID proof will be excluded.
Even though the land belonged to the government, the residents were sold little parcels of the land by dubious land dealers using the power of attorney documents.
They were assured that the land disputes would occur only on the other side of the Aravali and these lands would remain unaffected.
Residents are wondering why the government is not going after the dealers.
Ahead of demolition, police have increased deployment in the village against the protest by villagers. Residents have also claimed that their movement has been restricted and they have been deprived of all essential services.
Only those that have decided to vacate the premises are allowed to move out.
What’s more disputing is the fact that 5-star hotels and multi-store buildings built on the Aravalli range have remained untouched with corporations stating that they have permits.
The situation has become even grimmer after the suicide of a 70-year-old man out of fear that his house will be demolished.
He had recently spent approx 3 lakh rupees for building his house by taking a loan.
All that the residents have asked for is the land to stay in or to be compensated with a proportion of the money they have invested in purchasing the land to start afresh.
With the ongoing pandemic crisis, the residents of Khori village have already suffered economically, the eviction is only going to add more to their misery.