The Railway authorities have issued a public notice to the people of Banbhulpura in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district to remove 4,365 encroachments within seven days, failing which the demolition process will be started. The move comes after the Uttarakhand high court on December 20 ordered the demolition of constructions over encroached railway land at Banbhulpura in Haldwani.
“We have issued a public notice published in local newspapers on Sunday, asking people of Banbhulpura in Haldwani area of Nainital district to remove 4,365 encroachments within seven days, failing which demolition process will be started. Also, the cost of the demolition of the structures will have to be borne by the encroachers, if they don’t remove them within January 1-January 7 period,” said Rajendra Singh, public relations officer, North Eastern Railway Izzatnagar Division
The proposed demolition of 4,365 encroachments on railway land will affect over 50,000 people living in the area.
Residents of Banbhulpura had staged a massive protest on Wednesday and Thursday against the proposed demolition of the encroachments over railway land. The protesters demanded that the government should first rehabilitate them.
Uwais Raza, coordinator of Banbhulpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, said on Sunday that they have submitted a memorandum to the office of chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and governor Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh with the hope that the state government will do something for them. “We have been served a seven-day notice to demolish our houses. Over 60,000 people are living in this area. We have approached Supreme Court and we are hoping we will get relief from the apex court”, he said
On Monday, a joint meeting of Nainital district administration and railways authorities was held over the proposed removal of encroachments. Pillars were painted to mark the boundary of the encroached land from Wednesday so that identified encroachments could be removed.
The matter originally pertains to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ravi Shankar Joshi in 2013, in which the high court ordered in 2016 that the encroachments over the railway land be removed. In March 2022, a fresh PIL was filed in the same matter by Ravi Shankar Joshi, responding to which the court gave fresh directions on December 20.