With the help of police force, Ludhiana municipal corporation removed 11 encroachments from different areas, including Bharti Colony, Daresi ground, Jawaddi and Ambedkar Nagar on Friday.
Opposing the drive, residents of Bharti Colony and Ambedkar Nagar accused the MC officials of adopting pick and choose policy, saying that they have overlooked other encroachments.
According to MC notices were issued to the persons concerned to remove the encroachments, but they failed to do so.
With two anti-riot vans and three JCB machines, nearly 300 police personnel and 100 MC employees in five buses, along with senior MC officials, went to Ward Number 1. This first drive was conducted in Bharati Colony of the ward. When the drive was started, residents were seen removing their encroachments on their own.
Though residents were demanding removal of other encroachments, MC officials removed four encroachments, which were extended to three-feet on road. Out of these encroachments, three were part of the houses and one building was locked.
Rajpat, a resident of Bharti Colony, said, “I had started removing encroachments from Thursday, as I got the notice three days back, but the MC officials left other buildings in our street. I don't know why the MC follows pick and choose policy?” he claimed.
MC demolished the front portion of Rajpat's home.
The residents of Bharti Colony alleged that the encroachments by a private school and a house were not removed by the MC officials in the same area (street number 6), from where four encroachments were removed.
Another resident, Vasudev, said the MC officials should also remove other encroachments from the street. The action should be same for all encroachers, he added.
Drive in old city area
The second drive was conducted near Daresi Ground, from where MC officials removed two makeshift encroachments, which were encroached by a sugar cane juice vendor and tea vendor. The MC officials had to remove other encroachments too, but people concerned, claimed that they had stay orders from the court.
Drive in Jawaddi
The third drive was conducted by the MC team, along with police, in Jawaddi, where four constructions were demolished. However, these constructions were already in bad condition, where some migrants were residing.
According to the residents of Jawaddi, these constructions were demolished earlier also.
Drive in Ambedkar Nagar
The last drive was conducted in Ambedkar Nagar, where the MC officials moved behind the police force, as the police officials asked them to do so due to sensitive issue, as they had to demolish a temple there. MC officials removed the encroachment, in which a temple was made in front of a house.
As MC officials tried to remove the encroachment, the family tried to obstruct the action by picking up bricks to throw on the officials concerned. The police then initiated a mild lathicharge on the family members, who were stopping the officials.
MC commissioner denies allegations
MC commissioner Rahul Tewari denied the allegations, and said they did not follow any pick and choose policy.
“The action was taken on the encroachments list presented before high court in 2003. The list had mentioned 6,500 encroachments in the city. We have removed 2,000 encroachments, while 3,200 were those, which were constructed when the areas concerned were under panchayats and the matter to demolish them is under process.”
“If we get the complaints about other encroachments, we will also take action against them. During a drive conducted in Haibowal recently, the law and order situation was violated,” he added.