The citizens of the Haldwani district’s Gafoor Basti hamlet, which sits on land next to the Haldwani Railway Station, must leave, according to an order from the Uttarakhand High Court issued on December 20th, last year. The decision was filed in the form of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) back in 2013 by Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe.
The Supreme Court today is to hear a petition challenging the Uttarakhand High Court’s order to vacate 29 acres of Railway land that is located near the Haldwani Railway Station. The High Court had passed an order on December 20th last year ordering the Railway and the local authorities to demolish the encroachment on Railway land in Gafoor Basti located in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani. It’s also important to note here that there are religious places, schools, business establishments, and residences that are built on the area which is spread over 29 acres. The area is also home to reportedly over 4,000 people. The locals continue to hold candle marches, sittings, and more to halt the eviction process. The former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and a leader of the Indian National Congress Party Harish Rawat sat on an hour-long silent fast at his residence in Dehradun on Thursday in support of those who got affected.
The Supreme Court on January 5th, 2023 stayed Uttarakhand High Court’s decision in the Haldwani Railway land case. The Supreme Court said, “50,000 people can’t be uprooted overnight.” Rehabilitation scheme is to be kept in the minds of the government because of this. However, State Chief Minister Dhami assured that the government will follow the Court’s order. It has also been said that there will be no construction on the land. The case has now been listed for its next hearing on February 7th.