Gurgaon: The Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) is being restructured to create a special wing dedicated to removing encroachments in the Aravalis. Two District Planners (DTPs) will also be appointed, in addition to the two existing DTPs in the planning and execution wings of Gurgaon.
The department has also created an online database of all show cause and restoration notices, and FIRs related to illegal construction since 1975 for follow-ups. Officials said the Aravali transgressions form the bulk of the department’s anti-encroachment operations, particularly the farms that have sprung up all over the protected Aravali foothills due to the private ownership model of the land.
“There is a plan to restructure the department and create a special wing to make the enforcement more efficient with a focus on the Aravalis,” DTCP Director General KM Pandurang told TOI. “The number of district planners in Gurgaon will also increase from two to four and their areas will be divided.”
Pandurang said online data of all show cause and restoration notices as well as FIRs will also be tracked by the new enforcement wing, and pending cases will be completed. “If the department finds that action has not been taken after issuing notices and registering FIRs, the relevant officials will be interviewed,” he said.
Regarding the measures taken against the illegal settlements, the head of the DTCP said that over the past year there have been several anti-encroachment campaigns. “Officials have been given strict orders to stop these settlements early, otherwise they will be occupied and it will be difficult for us to take action against them,” he said.
Pandurang praised the Gurgaon team for their success in leveling the newly carved out illegal settlements, although he said that “about 20% of the task is still outstanding and needs to be done more efficiently”. “The department has taken strict action against illegal farm settlements as five to six such settlements have been demolished in the past six months in and around Gurgaon, including Bandhwari and Raisina.”
The DTCP leader also said he had ordered his officials to educate people not to invest in illegal settlements and to check the legal status of settlements before investing their hard-earned money. “Those who breach building standards will also be strictly dealt with.”
When contacted, District Planner (Law Enforcement) RS Batth said that with a focus on the Aravalis, Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg has also assembled a team of officials from relevant departments including revenue, l planning, the forest, the municipal council of Sohna. and the civic bodies of Gurgaon and Manesar.
“A comprehensive action plan to protect the forest area from invaders and illegal farm settlement developers will be prepared at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday,” he said.
Asked about the flooding inside the DTCP office in Gurgaon during the recent monsoon showers, Pandurang said a project report is being prepared and the land will soon be finalized for the construction of a new office. . “Currently, the office is run from the HSVP office premises which is in a low area which leads to rainwater accumulation,” he said.