New Delhi: Indian Railways carry out regular surveys of encroachment and taken action for their removal. If the encroachments are of temporary nature (soft encroachment) in the shape of jhuggies, jhopries and squatters, the same got removed in consultation and with the assistance of Railways Protection Force and local civil authorities. For old encroachments, where party is not amenable to persuasion, action is taken under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971 (PPE Act, 1971) as amended from time to time. Actual eviction of unauthorized occupants is carried out with the assistance of State Government and Police. During last three years about 70.38 hectares of encroaches land has been retrieved.
About 930 hectares of railway land which constitutes only 0.20% of the total railway land is under encroachment in various parts of the country. In Delhi, 59.88 hectares of railway land is under encroachment.
At certain locations, encroachment cause bottlenecks & safety hazards in train operations and difficulties in track maintenance. Encroachment are also a nuisance to traveling public besides a bottleneck to create new infrastructure.
The vacant Railway land, which is not required by Railways for its immediate operational needs, is entrusted to Rail Land Development (RLDA) in interim period, for commercial development wherever feasible through transparent open competitive bidding process in which disabled persons among others can also participate. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.