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MC reserves last chance for select few

Officials of the Ludhiana municipal corporation allegedly adopted a pick-and-choose policy during the demolition drive that was carried out from the octroi post to Greenland School on the GT Road on Thursday.

punjab Updated: Apr 20, 2012 13:58 IST
HT Live Correspondent

Officials of the Ludhiana municipal corporation allegedly adopted a pick-and-choose policy during the demolition drive that was carried out from the octroi post to Greenland School on the GT Road on Thursday.

The LMC officials reached the octroi post on the Jalandhar bypass along with five bulldozers, trucks and hundreds of police personnel at 10am.

Their preparedness showed that the MC would demolish all the encroachments in a single day. However, later they suspended the drive for commercial establishments till Friday, but they did not spare the labourers who had constructed their houses on a vacant plot.

The Punajb and Haryana high court has ordered the civic body to demolish all the encroachments on the GT Road that have been established by breaching the PUDA Act, 1995.

The demolition drive was a part of the ongoing project of the widening of the GT Road, wherein the LMC had served notices to the establishments to remove the encroachments in February. However, a majority of the commercial establishments had failed to remove the encroachments, thereby defying the orders of the LMC.

Therefore, the corporation officials reached the venue with the demolition squads to carry out the demolition drive on Thursday. Though owners of the commercial establishments managed to get three more days by using their influential links, the demolition squads showed no mercy upon the labourers living in the slum dwellings and some pucca houses built on a vacant plot.

Ram Sahay, a dweller in the labour colony, who is a daily wager, rued, "The officials did not even give us the time to take out our belongings from our houses. All we had asked for was a few hours so that we could at least shift out things, but the officials were uncooperative. Therefore, we had to vacate our dwellings in haste."

As the bulldozers swung into action, Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey tried to intervene and requested the MC officers to postpone the drive, but the officials did not entertain his request giving reference of the high court orders.

LMC commissioner MS Jaggi said the civic body had already served a 50-day notice to the establishments to remove encroachments on their own.