Hazaribagh: Social workers protest against encroachment of land
Six social workers — all from the Congress — started an indefinite fast agitation from Monday to protest illegal encroachment of water bodies and government land by influential land mafia allegedly in connivance with the “silent” authorities at Hazaribagh district, a tourist hub in Jharkhand.
“We had no option but to sit on hunger strike to draw attention to an issue for which we have been writing to authorities for the last several years.
“We had raised the issue with erstwhile deputy commissioners, SDO, Hazaribagh Municipal Corporation commissioner and also tweeted the issue to the chief minister (Hemant Soren).
“However, no action has been taken even as water bodies are being encroached in violation of the Supreme Court directive and even government lands are being encroached and high rises are coming up on it,” said Surjit Singh Nagwala, who claimed to be the Hazaribagh district Congress OBC cell president.
Others who have joined the indefinite hunger strike include Hazaribagh Congress OBC cell district secretary Deepak Kumar Gupta, Santosh Kumar Gupta, Sunil Kumar Chandravanshi, Santosh Kumar Yadav and Ramkumar Sao.
“It is not that the district administration is not aware of the illegal encroachments. What can one say when a prominent river like Konar river (along NH-33) has been encroached, even big drains like Vikash Nagar Nullah and Raja Bungalow have been encroached for construction of high rises. The district administration only gives verbal assurances of action but nothing happens.
“The condition of encroachment of major drains has led to such a situation that even a few hours of rain is leading to waterlogged roads,” said Surjit.
The Congress leader alleged a nexus between land mafias and authorities.
“We have shown photographs of encroachment of rivers, drains and ponds and also given names of the land mafias during our representation to the authorities.
“But they have preferred to remain silent on the issue so far which has led to increase in morale of the real estate developers in the tourist hub of Hazaribagh,” alleged Surjit Singh Nagwala.
“We would like common people of Hazaribagh also to come forward and agitate for this cause to preserve water, forest and land of Hazaribagh. Our agitation would continue till administration takes suitable action against the encroachers,” said the Congress leader.
Hazaribagh deputy commissioner Nancy Sahay, confirmed the agitation and promised action.
“We are looking into the issue case by case and will be taking action on priority in the form of a campaign against encroachment soon,” assured Sahay.