The Ministry of Railways on Friday (3 February) said that 79 acres of railway land has been encroached in Banbhoolpura in Uttarakhand's Haldwani and it has certified copy of land records verified by state's revenue department to justify its claim.
"Indian Railways have approximately 79 acres of Railway land near Banbhoolpura, Haldwani in Uttarakhand," Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
"Railway has certified copy of land records i.e. Khasra, Khatauni & land plans duly verified by State Revenue department," Vaishnaw said while reply to question seeking evidence with the Railways for claim on the land.
"A copy of joint survey of the area done in 2017 by State Government and Railway is also available," he added.
The minister said that Railways had initially claimed 29 acres of encroached railway land.
"However, after the joint survey by State Government and Railways in 2017, 79 acres of railway land was found encroached," he said.
He further said that Railways had filed two affidavits in the matter in the Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital.
"Two affidavits dated 04.11.2015 and 05.01.2017 have been filed by Railways in the matter in 2015 & 2017 respectively in Hon’ble High Court, Nainital," he said.
In these affidavits, the Uttarakhand High Court was requested to issue direction to District Administration to provide necessary assistance to Railways in identifying the encroachers and providing force during eviction proceedings, the minister said.
Earlier last month, the Supreme Court had stayed the Uttarakhand HC order on removal of encroachments from railway land in Haldwani.
An apex court bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka passed the order while issuing notice to the State of Uttarakhand and the Railways in a batch of special leave petitions filed against the judgment passed by a division bench of the High Court on 20 December 2022.
"There shall be a stay on the directions passed by the High Court," the top court ordered.
The petitions challenged the Uttarakhand High Court order authorised which had authorised eviction of over 4,000 families from land claimed by the Indian Railways in Haldwani after giving them a week's notice.
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