An anti-encroachment drive of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) in Sadar Bazar met with violent resistance from street vendors on Sunday.
The protesters allegedly damaged the vehicles of MCG officials and manhandled them around 11am. They took back items that had been seized by the MCG team in a tractor trolley.
Veena Hooda, MCG joint commissioner and head of the urban local body's enforcement wing, said none of the officials who went to clear the encroachment were injured.
She, however, said the absence of police personnel prompted the vendors to attack the enforcement wing team.
"We will register a police complaint over today's attack," said Hooda. Areas around Sadar Bazar such as Sabzi Mandi, Trunk Market and the Old Bus Stand are largely encroached upon by hawkers.
Unlike before, when the corporation's enforcement team would remove the hawkers and go, they now have started seizing the items sold by the encroachers to refrain them from returning.
The officials alleged that most of these hawkers had the patronage of permanent shopkeepers of Sadar Bazar.These shopkeepers allegedly took money from the encroachers to allow them to put up their stalls in front of their shops.
On December 12 last year, a demolition drive by the MCG at Rajiv Nagar took an ugly turn when the protesters set ablaze two official SUVs, a bulldozer and broke the windowpanes of a PCR van.
The enforcement wing of the MCG had gone to clear the encroachment within the protected 900 metres of the Air Force ammunition depot in Sector 17.
On April 26, the corporation carried out a similar drive in Sadar Bazar but to no avail.
The civic body had launched a similar drive in December last when illegal structures of 300 shopkeepers were cleared.
However, the encroachers returned soon. The shopkeepers usually encroach upon roads by constructing stairs and pavements, which cause inconvenience to pedestrians and affect flow of traffic.
Hundreds of encroachments have again mushroomed in the already congested Sadar Bazar.The civic body aims to make the area vehicle-free. So, it is looking for an alternative parking site for visitors.