Three small shops (kiosks) right next to Gol Gumbad, near Lodi Road flyover, were demolished on Wednesday for encroaching on government land.
The Delhi State Archaeology Department had recently issued a preliminary notification for protection of Gol Gumbad.
Conservation NGO Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is sprucing up the monument of behalf of the government ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The three small shops or kiosks selling paan bidi, cold drinks, tea, etc were razed amid police presence.
The land belongs to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). "We have been asking the DDA to clear the encroachments for a long time. Finally after six months, the demolition took place,” said a senior archaeology department official.
“We have been paying electric and water bills all these years. We also have Municipal Corporation of Delhi's tehbazari in my wife Rekha's name," said Patrick Masi, whose family was occupying the land.
However, officials said, “Tehbazari allows one to sell goods during day time. It does not allow a person to start living there.”