NEW DELHI: Drawing flak for its demolition at Shakur Basti on Saturday that allegedly resulted in the death of a six-month-old child, the Delhi division of Northern Railway said on Sunday that all procedures were followed. It added that it was necessary to clear the encroachments to make way for a terminal.

Divisional railway manager (Delhi) Arun Arora said numerous encroachments were removed from near the station. He added that under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971, the railway only needs to notify the encroachers and police before carrying out a demolition drive on its land.

Several projects are held up as over 60 hectares of the railway land has been encroached upon, officials said.

“A new passenger terminal is to come up at Shakur Basti. Several notices have been issued to the encroachers over the past nine months asking them to vacate the land. They were initially asked to leave by March 14, 2015. The last notice was served in November,” Arora said.

He added, “When Delhi Police and Railway Protection Force officials gathered at the site on Saturday, they were told that a child had died in the area around 10am. The death had nothing to do with the demolition drive that began around noon. After assessing the situation, SHO Punjabi Bagh, Ishwar Singh, gave clearance for removing the encroachments. DUSIB officials had also been informed of the drive.”

A senior railway official said these encroachments also come in the way of the National Green Tribunal’s directions to address problems of pollution due to garbage generation and defecation on railway tracks.

There are 47,000 encroachments on railway land under the Delhi division, out of which 22,000 within the railway safety zone require immediate removal.

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Source: TOI-Delhi