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Forest Department Issues Eviction Notice To Around 500 House Owners In South Delhi's Aya Nagar

The Delhi Forest Department has issued notices to hundreds of residents in southwest Delhi's Aya Nagar, asking them to "vacate" the forest land they have "encroached" over the years.

NEW DELHI, INDIA - AUGUST 4: A view of Asola-Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, on August 4
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The Delhi Forest Department has issued notices to hundreds of residents in southwest Delhi's Aya Nagar, asking them to "vacate" the forest land they have "encroached" over the years.

Residents claim that the notice was issued to around 500 house owners, who have been living in the area for more than 30 years.

The notice said the area concerned was declared "reserved forest" through a notification dated May 24, 1994, and the residents had encroached on the land in violation of Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act 1927.

The notice dated August 3 said the encroachers should vacate the forest land within seven days, after which the structures will be demolished and all material found will be seized.

As the deadline ended on Thursday, the forest department said it has not started the demolition drive yet. It did not divulge more information.

The notice has been issued in accordance with the directions of the National Green Tribunal, which had in January last year asked the city government to take necessary action to protect the ridge area.

Residents said the area was declared "reserved forest" in 1994 without actual ground truthing.

"People have been living here since the 1980s. They (authorities) never issued such a notice in the past. Now, they say we should vacate it in seven days," a resident said.

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