Uttarakhand: Anti-encroachment drive starts in Dehradun, over 700 illegal houses demolished

On Sunday, 19th March 2023, a drive to demolish illegal encroachments in the Vikasnagar area near Dehradun was initiated by the local administrative authorities. The settlement is situated near the Shakti Canal and the HydroPower Corporation has taken an initiative to vacate the area where more than 700 families had illegally settled and built houses.

The demolition drive will be carried out in phases and the first phase started on Sunday. A heavy police force was deployed in the area when the anti-encroachment drive was carried out. In the first phase, illegal occupation is being bulldozed in the Takrani area.

The HydroPower Corporation administration had issued notices to 48 illegal occupants to vacate the land within 24 hours. As soon as 24 hours were over, the demolition action started. Similarly, illegal encroachments from Dakpathar to Dhalipur will be removed in a phased manner. The corporation, police, and administration had prepared a concrete action plan to remove the encroachments.

Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL – that is Uttarakhand Hydro Power Corporation Limited) and the local tehsil office formed a joint team that demarcated the illegal properties to be demolished. There are hundreds of illegal constructions between Dakpatthar and Dhalipur along the Shakti Canal. They will also be demolished and the space will be vacated to install a solar power plant along the canal.

Some of the people illegally occupying the place have vacated their illegal properties themselves. However, there are many families residing in the area who have refused to vacate the place. The HydroPower Corporation authorities have clarified that the costs of demolishing the illegal constructions will be recovered from the illegal occupants.

It is notable that the Uttarakhand state government has undertaken a demolition drive against illegal constructions and encroachments in the last few days. On Monday, 13th March 2023, in a major crackdown, the Uttarakhand government rolled bulldozers over illegal Mazars which were built by encroachment on the reserved forest land. This came after Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami directed the state authorities to clear forest land of encroachment.

The government authorities demolished 26 Mazars that were illegally constructed on the government’s forest land. The authorities conducted a survey and identified around 1400 religious structures built illegally on government land. As per reports, some of the illegal Mazars did not even contain any human remains.

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