Have cleared 148 acres of encroached forest land: Delhi Govt to SC

The Delhi government informed the Supreme Court Wednesday that it has cleared 148 acres of encroached forest land in the national capital.

The counsel appearing for Delhi government told a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that it would file an affidavit giving full details of the actions taken to re-claim the encroached land and also about the water bodies.

On the point of issuing advance notice of sealing to defaulters, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said they have discussed the matter with senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, and they would finalise an agreed plan.

"We had a discussion and some agreed procedure will be finalised," the ASG said.

The bench said it would hear the issue on September 20.

It also granted two weeks' time to the Delhi government to file their affidavit in the matter.

The apex court had earlier taken serious note of the encroachments in Delhi and had said it was a "matter of great distress" that 2,280.43 kilometres of roads, streets and footpaths were encroached upon in the national capital.

The observation by the bench had come after it was informed that 844.33 kms, 811.01 kms and 601.2 kms of encroached roads and streets were cleared by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and those in South and East Delhi respectively as on August 31.

The bench had made it clear that once the special task force (STF), constituted on April 25 following the court's order to oversee enforcement of laws on illegal constructions here, clears the encroachments, the statutory authority would have to ensure that there was no more encroachment in the area.

The court had also dealt with issues relating to encroachment of forest land and water bodies here which was raised by the court-appointed monitoring committee in its report.

The committee had told the court that several water bodies in Delhi had dried up and were encroached upon, which was a matter of grave concern.

The apex court had in July directed that there would be "no stopping of sealing or demolition" of unauthorised constructions in Delhi after the Centre had said it had not given any instructions to the civic bodies to go slow or stop the sealing drive against offending structures.

The top court is dealing with the issue related to validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised construction from being sealed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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