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Wednesday, 7 October 2020

HC stays conversion of Faridabad public parks into residential area

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that every citizen has the fundamental right to fresh air, before staying Haryana's action of converting public parks into a residential area in Faridabad. The Bench has ruled that the action is unconstitutional and contrary to law.

The direction by the Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu came after petitioner Jan Kalyan Samiti contended that 7.5 acres had been earmarked for public parks in Faridabad, but jhuggis, residential houses and workshops, among other things, came up in open areas in an unauthorised manner.

A committee also foundthat jhuggi-dwellers had encroached upon public land and were liable to be evicted. The High Court, during the hearing of another case, was told that Haryana approved a proposal regarding change of land use from park to residential on May 29.

The Bench asserted that it was evident that parks were carved out in the master plan, but were encroached upon with the passage of time. The respondents had undertaken in court from time to time to remove illegal encroachers, but by taking a U-turn, decided to convert parks into residential areas.

The Bench pointed out that residents had a fundamental right to free air and to enjoy public amenities and it was expected from the respondents to evict illegal encroachers from public land instead of nullifying the orders passed by the court from time to time.

The Bench also referred to a Supreme Court judgment in the case of "Virender Gaur and others versus Haryana and others" to say it was held that the government could not sanction lease in favour of a private party since municipal land was earmarked for open space for public use to maintain ecology and hygienic environment.

Before parting with the case, the Bench stayed the communication dated June 6, approval dated May 29 and other communications by the Faridabad Municipal Commissioner on change of land use.

from The Tribune

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