Haldwani: SC intervenes, stays Uttarakhand High Court’s plan to forcibly relocate 50,000 people

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The Supreme Court of India has issued a stay on the order of the Uttarakhand High Court which directed the eviction of 4000 families living on 78 acres of railway land in Banbhulpura, Haldwani, Uttarakhand. The apex court has also issued notices to the Uttarakhand government and the Railways, asking for their explanations on the matter. During the hearing, the Supreme Court stated that it would not be feasible to remove 50,000 people overnight and that a practical solution must be found to address the situation. The nature of the land, as well as the nature of rights and ownership, must be carefully examined before any decisions are made, the court said.

haldwani protest photo

The Supreme Court also pointed out that a week is not enough time to relocate the families and that their rehabilitation must be considered first. The court inquired about the Uttarakhand government’s plans to address the situation of the people who have been living on the land for 50-60 years. The court stated that there must be a plan for their rehabilitation and that no further construction should take place on the land. The court also emphasized the importance of considering the impact on schools, colleges, and other structures that may be affected by the eviction.

During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner, Colin Gonsalves, argued that the affected parties were not given a fair hearing before the High Court’s decision and that the ownership of the land is not clear. Gonsalves pointed out that the High Court’s order stated that the land belongs to the state government and that thousands of people will be impacted by the decision. The next hearing on the matter has been scheduled for February 7th.

The Supreme Court’s stay on the eviction order and its decision to seek explanations from the Uttarakhand government and the Railways is a positive development for the affected families. It shows that the court is considering the practicalities of the situation and the impact on the families who have lived on the land for decades. The court’s emphasis on the need for a rehabilitation plan and its prohibition on further construction on the land also indicates its concern for the welfare of the affected parties. It is hoped that the next hearing on February 7th will result in a fair and practical resolution to the matter.

The High Court of Uttarakhand had previously issued an eviction order for those living on illegally occupied railway land in the area, which is home to nearly half of the families and contains various other structures and institutions. These include four government schools, 11 private schools, a bank, two overhead water tanks, 10 mosques, and four temples.

Read more: Former CM Harish Rawat stands with Haldwani demonstrators in silent protest

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IS NewsDesk
Stories curated by our interns and news crew. Originally reported or general compilation from various available sources and news agencies.

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