Despite National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposing a temporary ban on construction activities inside Aarey milk colony, officials from Aarey CEO claim local politicos are pressurising them to go easy on squatters.
Officials believe it is a ploy used by the slum dwellers to construct new shanties on the pretext of undertaking repairwork.
Last year, Aarey CEO office had demolished illegal structures in Durgapada area and did plantation at the spot to deter encroachers from reclaiming the area. Sources claim that a few of the razed structures have resurfaced.
An officer requesting anonymity said, “We are trying to protect the open spaces and green patches in Aarey from encroachment. Several demolition drives against the squatters were undertaken last year. But illegal structures have been rebuilt at a few locations. Slum dwellers these slums try to use their political influence to pressurise our staff. But our stand is clear — no illegal activity will be tolerated inside Aarey.”
Last week, over 100 slum dwellers gathered outside the Aarey CEO office and meet a senior official, requesting him to grant them permission to carry out construction work. But the officer turned down their request citing NGT’s ‘no construction’ directive. Despite denying permission, the slum dwellers refused to vacate the office premises following which help was sought from the local police station. Fearing legal action, the crowd dispersed upon spotting police presence in the area. Last year, Aarey CEO office had demolished illegal structures in Durgapada area and did plantation at the spot to deter encroachers from reclaiming the area. Sources claim that a few of the razed structures have been rebuilt.