The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to give ₹2,000 per month to persons allotted flats after they were evicted as part of Khori Gaon jhuggi demolition drive in Delhi-NCR as reported by Bar & Bench.
The order was passed by a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, AS Oka and CT Ravikumar after it noted that the persons affected in the matter are being forced to live outside since the allotted premises lack water and drainage facilities.
Last year in July after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the residential properties in Khori Gaon, bulldozers began to destroy the settlement under police and Army presence.
The Supreme Court in June 2021 had refused to halt the demolition of over 10,000 settlements housing over 1 lakh people at Khori Gaon in Faridabad district, Haryana for encroachment of forest land.
A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari had passed the order in a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking stay on the demolition.
However, the Court had also asked the State authorities to provide provisional accommodation to those evicted until the new housing facility for them is ready.
Khori Gaon settlement contained over 10,000 homes with over 1 lakh residents. Court called it encroachment and ordered the demolition of the residential properties. Even after an year only 50% of the residents were habilitated in nearby area.
“Corporation must take responsibility. All of these people must be compensated by you. That is why they are staying outside. We will send someone to check if the condition is habitable,” the Court said.
Until the persons are in possession of completed and habitable flats, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation has to pay compensation, the Bench stated in its order.
“The fact that premises are habitable will be certified by the Municipal Commissioner. Until the eligible person are given possession of the flats, the corporation shall be liable to pay the solatium amount of Rs 2,000 per month until the date of possession letter …
Corporation must finish allotment before April 30, 2022,” the order said.
Senior Advocate Arun Bhardwaj, appearing for the petitioners, informed the Bench at the outset that despite an earlier assurance that the flats will be ready for possession by April 30, the situation has not changed.
“They sleep under tarpaulin sheets and faced wrath of winter and will now face vagaries of summer. Municipal Corporation of Faridabad has to submit when will the flats be ready and what will be the deadline of final handover and what is the outer limit. We don’t want to be there without drinking water or drainage facilities,” he submitted.
Counsel for the State authorities submitted that 1,022 eligible persons will be provided permanent allotment by end of April 2022 in habitable conditions.
Taking note of some other concerns expressed, the Bench in its order stated,
“We were also informed that the plot where unauthorised structures were removed is being misused by locals. We direct Faridabad Superintendant of police to ensure that there is no encroachment or mis-utilisation of the plot in the future … the forest dept may issue appropriate directions to ensure plantation of suitable trees in the area.”