About 270 acres of riverbed and bank area has been encroached upon in the Dehradun valley. The Dehradun District Magistrate acknowledged this in an affidavit submitted in the High Court of Uttarakhand during hearing in a case pertaining to encroachment in rivers, lakes and nalas in Dehradun. In its report submitted in the court, the Government has averred that the encroachers are being identified and removed. Objecting to this, the counsel for the petitioner alleged that in the name of anti-encroachment drive, the poor are being targeted while encroachments by the influential persons are not being touched.
Hearing the arguments, the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice Alok Verma directed the petitioner to file a counter-affidavit in the court.
The municipal councillor of Rajpur in Dehradun, Urmila Thapa, had filed a public interest litigation in the High Court stating that ravines and nalas in Rajpur area had been encroached upon and constructions made in such areas. In the course of the hearing, the Dehradun District Magistrate submitted an affidavit stating that 270 acres of river land has been encroached upon in the Doon valley.
This includes about 100 acres encroached in Dehradun, 140 acres in Vikasnagar, 15 acres in Rishikesh and 15 acres in Doiwala.
Responding to this, the petitioner stated that the area encroached upon is as big as 205 football fields.
If the Government data shows that such a large area has been encroached upon, the reality could be much worse.