Jamshedpur, Feb. 3: The East Singhbhum district administration on Wednesday embarked on a massive anti-encroachment campaign in the biggest urban slum in the city, Birsanagar, with a view to free government land from boundaries and structures built allegedly by the land mafia.
The drive started at a densely populated area of Birsanagar Zone II, which falls under the Jamshedpur East Assembly constituency. Led by DSP (City) Animesh Nathani, Dhalbhum SDO Suraj Kumar and Jamshedpur circle officer (CO) Manoj Kumar, the drive was conducted in the presence of Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) and Birsanagar police.
An official said that encroachments in the city are omnipresent and thriving, much to the discomfort of the peace-loving common citizens. Be it the roads, parks, pavements, markets or public lands taken in the name of religion, the city is known for the encroachments, which are blots on the face of the urban landscape.
During the drive a four-storied (G+3) structures built on over 4,000 sq ft of land in Birsanagar Zone II for commercial purpose by a builder was demolished using four poclains (excavators).
Dhalbhum SDO Suraj Kumar said that a builder identified as Vishal Palsania had encroached on the government land and a case under Bihar Public Land Encroachment Act -1966 (BPLE Act) was lodged by the Jamshedpur circle officer in this connection in the Jamshedpur civil court in October 2015.
The court order was executed today in the form of the anti-encroachment drive. The drive will continue for few more days as this is a massive structure.
Encroachment on government and non-government land and its misuse for monetary gains is fast emerging as an organised crime in the city with certain dominant persons allegedly involved in it.
Despite claims by the authorities, larger parts in the city are still under control of several unscrupulous persons. While some of the structures were demolished using earthmovers, some people voluntarily started demolishing the structures on the encroached area.
Despite repeated notices, they had failed to remove the structures, officials said. They went on to add that the eviction drive was taken up in view of a plan to widen the road to enable of operation of buses and traffic through it.
He further added that they are planning to launch a sustained drive to vacate the encroached lands under the Jusco and government command area. Soon after the anti-encroachment drive started, the demolition team removed a closed shop by using the poclains despite protest by the neighboring shopkeepers.
The shopkeepers of the neighborhood had first objected to the demolition as the owner of the closed shop was not present during the operation. As their protest was not heard by the administration, the shopkeepers mobilized support amongst them to cope up with the demolition squad effectively.
When the frenzied shop owners tried to stop the officials from pulling down more shops, the police swung into action and chased them, resulting in their dispersal.
Meanwhile, several illegal jhuggis and shops have come up in different parts of Mango, Golpahari, Loco Colony, Karandih, Jugsalai, Sakchi and Bistupur. Though anti-encroachment drives have been carried several times, the people are able to intrude the land again due to support of local goons.
City-based social workers Prakash Sharma said that encroachments in the city are omnipresent and thriving, much to the discomfort of the ordinary citizen. Be it the road, parks, pavements, markets or public land taken over in the name of religion, the city is known for the encroachments which blot the urban landscape.