4,000 families living on railway land in Haldwani are set to be evicted


Following an order issued by the Uttarakhand High Court, 4,000 families living in unauthorized colonies near Haldwani railway station will be served with eviction notices and given seven days to vacate the area.

According to Nainital district officials, the area will  cleared of 4,365 encroachments. 

Residents have been protesting the court order, some of whom have lived there for decades.

Railway officials have stated that demolition of the houses and other structures built on the 2.2 km stretch of railway land has begun. “Around ten days ago, the High Court issued an order removing all encroachments on railway land in Haldwani. There are 4,365 encroachments, and we will publish a notice in local newspapers tomorrow (Sunday). The occupants will  given seven days to relocate before we take action,” said Rajendra Singh, Railway PRO at Izzat Nagar.

During the hearing, the state government stated that it had no say over the railways property. 

The railways also stated that no encroacher can produce any legal documents to claim the aforementioned land.

After hearing all of the parties in a case that lasted nearly a decade, the court ruled in favour of railways.

On Thursday, in response to the court order, joint teams of railway and revenue officials conducted a drone survey of the encroached area. Despite residents’ protests, they began demarcating the encroached areas.

Earlier this week, thousands of residents marched by candlelight to express their displeasure. 

They claim that the demolition campaign will make them homeless. Some of the families have lived in unauthorized colonies for 40-50 years, and several residents born in the very houses that will  demolished in the next 10 days.

 Local sources say the encroachments include approximately 20 mosques and 9 temples.

Congress has spoken out against the eviction, accusing the state government of failing to properly argue the case in court.

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