Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) have held several rounds of talks with the villagers and half the residents from the area have started the shifting process. Plots had already been allocated to the families affected by the Jewar airport project.
Delayed because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the deadline for the township with more than 3,000 plots is June 30. “The allotment process is over. Some pockets in the township are ready and people are being asked to start construction work in those areas,” said the officer on special duty, YEIDA, Shailendra Bhatia.
The administration had started the process of plot allocation for 238 families from Nagla Ganeshi in March this year. The former pradhan of the village, Rohtash Thakur, said: “Gradually, the entire population of the village will shift. Of the 238 families here, 110 have already started constructing houses. We have raised some pending issues with the authority. The other villagers will start shifting once officials address those issues.”
He added that those building houses, however, are finding it difficult to get workers and construction material because of the curfew.
“People are demanding a premium to send construction material to the site and getting labourers is also difficult. The villagers will be given at least three months’ time to shift after the entire township gets ready,” Rohtash said. Officials said that only those who have been allocated plots in the complete section of the township are being asked to shift now. “We are giving them adequate time to finish work,” Bhatia said.
The sizes of the plots varies between 50 sqm and 500 sqm and they were allocated according to the size of the original houses of the villagers and open courtyard used to keep cattle, store agricultural tools and animal fodder.
Bhatia added that 3,003 plots are yet to be handed over to the villagers.
Although officials have fenced the airport boundary, unless villagers are shifted out of their homes, work on the project cannot start. “The concessionaire appointed for developing the airport, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited, had already initiated the process of shortlisting contractors. We are under pressure to get the area vacated and hand it over to the officials so that work can start at the earliest,” said an official.
Rohtash added that recently, power supply had been disconnected in a part of Nagla Ganeshi for three days. “We alerted senior officials in Lucknow and told them about the issue. The supply was restored after their intervention,” he said, alleging that it was deliberately done.
Officials at the power department, however, denied the charges. “It must have been a fault in the power transmission system and it was rectified” an official said.