WARD NO. 5
Ammunition Depot, Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Carterpuri Village, Caterpuri, Palam Vihar Extn, Sector 23A, Sheetla Colony
Gaje Singh Kablana
Gaje Singh Kablana, the Councillor of Ward No. 5 is beaming, and so are his supporters. Numbers are swelling constantly at his office near Palam Vihar Extension, on Wednesday afternoon. Celebrations are starting. Dressed in a pristine white kurta pyjama, Kablana is ecstatic as he informs people about the Supreme Court decision delivered that day – staying the demolition of structures in the 900 metres disputed area around the Air Force Ammunition Depot. This territory falls within his Ward.
Kablana is fighting the court case on behalf of the affected people residing in the disputed land. He has just returned from the Supreme Court with the good news.
A major part of Ward no. 5 falls in the disputed area – and includes Sheetla Colony, Sheetla Enclave Phase 1,2,3; Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Ashok Vihar Extension-B, Dharm Colony and nearby areas. Kablana asserts that the government will be forced to provide justice to the people living in these areas; as they have invested hard earned money to buy land here.
“Not even a single brick will be demolished as humanity is on our side,” says Kablana. He is unhappy with the way the MCG and the administration are functioning in the city. No one wants to work for the people, says the Councillor.
Kablana informs that a Supreme Court Bench, comprising Justice Jain and Justice Dave, has given a stay order on all the decisions given by the Haryana High Court – pertaining to the disputed land around the ammunition depot. “The Court has issued notices to all the stake holders—including the defence authorities—to find a reasonable solution to the problem. This could either be shifting of the depot, or denotifying the area – as it is inhuman to play with the lives of lakhs of people,” says Kablana, much to the happiness of his supporters.
The government of Haryana has been clearly instructed that all constructions till December 7, 2011 will remain as they are, in the 900 metre disputed area; and no demolitions should take place. He also asked the people to refrain from building anything further.
Kablana informs that he has been fighting the case against the government single-handedly; and now the 900-metre Sangharsh Samiti has joined hands with him to fight against this injustice. “Our contention is that the Haryana High Court has issued double orders in the same case, and this is wrong. Secondly, why is the High Court silent on the demolition of HUDA colonies and the Maruti factory, that also fall in the disputed area,” he alleges.
In addition to the problems related to the disputed area, Kablana says that officials have stopped issuing power connections to house owners, and that is creating a lot of problems. “Where will people go in the darkness? The roads are in a bad condition, the sewage and sanitation system is absent in this Ward, and we are left with no time. We are expending our energies just fighting for justice,” he says.
Kablana is one of the rare MCG Councillors who has passed an MA course, and also holds an MBA degree. His seventeen year stint in the Air Force, he says, is helping him in the social and political work; as he is very organised and disciplined.
“My family is very happy and supportive of the work I am doing for the society. I have two sons and a daughter. Though they want me to spend more time with them, they like it when people come to me and appreciate the work we do,” he says; referring to the throng of supporters who are now planning for the next parliamentary elections.
Time Line of Ammunition Depot Land Dispute
1 The land for the ammunition depot was acquired in 1948, under the Work of Defence Act-1903, which imposes restriction on construction in a 900-metre area surrounding the depot.
2 In 1971, Sector 14 and 17 were developed, and are allegedly in the prohibited area. HUDA claims that these sectors were developed by the erstwhile Estate Department.
3In 1974, Maruti was also given land to set up a factory, and a part of this land allegedly falls in the prohibited area.
4 In 1988, Sanjay Gram colony took shape, again allegedly within the same area. A court case was also filed by a resident in the same year, against the construction activity taking place in a prohibited zone.
5 In 1992, development started in Rajiv Nagar, again allegedly within the 900-metres.
6 In 1990s, Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Sheetla Colony, Dharm Colony started developing, again allegedly in the prohibited zone.
7 In 1991, Justice Ashok Bhan gave directions that the government should first demolish the Maruti factory, and parts of HUDA sectors, before embarking upon demolition of the residential dwellings of the weaker sections of the society in the prohibited zone.
8 In 2008, RWA of Sector 17, Gurgaon filed a case based on these violations of the Defence Act. It requested the court to direct the government to ensure that illegal constructions in prohibited area are removed.
9 Public Interest Petition filed by Satish Sharma, a social activist of Gurgaon. Another Common Interest Petition filed by local politician and Ward no. 5 Councillor Gaje Singh Kablana, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
10 Kablana approaches Supreme Court. On December 7, 2011 the Supreme Court stays all decisions of the Haryana High Court. Stays demolition till further orders.