Protest erupts after MDDA’s anti-encroachment drive
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Protest erupts after MDDA’s anti-encroachment drive

Political protest cutting across party lines has erupted after the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) conducted a massive anti-encroachment drive on Saturday

dehradun Updated: Jun 18, 2017 18:51 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,encroachment,Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority
Traders remove scrap materials from site after anti-encroachment drive by MDDA at Transport Nagar in Dehradun. (HT Photo)

Political protest cutting across party lines has erupted after the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) conducted a massive anti-encroachment drive on Saturday.

Even Dehradun’s influential traders’ body has come out in protest and has threatened to hold Doon Bandh if the government authorities did not stop “harassing” traders.

During the “biggest ever” anti-encroachment drive held by the MDDA, its teams had demolished total 156 temporary and permanent encroachments including 15 shops, 21 walls, 45 tin sheds and 52 hutments among others in Doon’s Transport Nagar area on Saturday with the help of police.

BJP leader Umesh Aggarwal, who had reached the spot to register protest against the drive, said he was not against removal of encroachments but was certainly against “forced removal” by authorities.

“Traders are already a harried lot due to impending implementation of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and this unannounced activity has only added to their woes...many traders were trying to remove encroachments on their own but even they were not spared,” said Aggarwal, who is the BJP’s Dehradun city unit president and also the patron of the Doon Udyog Vyapar Mandal (Dehradun traders’ association).

Aggarwal said the city traders’ association had sought time from urban development minister Madan Kaushik till June 20 to remove any type of encroachments.

“But the authorities still went ahead with this activity...they should have given enough time to traders to remove (encroachments) on their own,” he told Hindustan Times.

The Doon traders’ association, with which over 130 traders’ units across the city are affiliated, has now threatened to launch a stir to protest against the drive.

Congress leader Suryakant Dhasmana, who had also reached the site to protest, alleged that the drive was conducted with “bias towards people with certain political affiliation”.

He also protested against the lack of basic services in Transport Nagar area.

“I’m not in favour of encroachments but I objected to the pick-and-choose manner in which the drive was held. Also, an even bigger concern is that the MDDA has never addressed the real problems of transporters like roads, washing area, public toilets, shelter homes for drivers/cleaners so far.

The authorities have totally overlooked their real problems in the past two decades but jumped to use the bulldozer within one week of issuing notices,” Dhasmana, who is the patron of transporters, said, while referring to the MDDA’s claims that the encroachers had been given a week’s notice before the activity.

MDDA secretary Prakash Chandra Dumka said people tried to “create political pressure on us but we went ahead with the drive as planned”.

“We will continue to hold more such anti-encroachment drives over the coming days in association with the district administration and other agencies like Dehradun municipal corporation, police and public works department without entertaining any kind of pressure,” he said.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 18:51 IST