75 shops targeted during crackdown on squatters by SDMC
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Friday continued its crackdown on illegal extensions made by the shopkeepers at Central Market in Lajpat Nagar and demolished the ramps of at least 75 shops.
Friday’s demolition drive came at the directions of the special task force that has been constituted by the Union ministry for housing and urban affair for removing encroachments from public places.
On Friday, the anti-encroachment drive was undertaken at Feroze Gandhi Road, Veer Savarkar Marg, Krishna Market and surrounding areas. Officials said that around three kilometre of road was cleared for the use of pedestrians.
“The drive was different from previous ones as we mainly focused on demolishing extensions made on public land by shopkeepers. We had to engage extra workforce and machinery for carrying out the drive that started at 9am and continued till late in the evening,” said an SDMC official from licensing department.
“We decided to step in after receiving repeated complaints from locals who said they were finding it difficult to cross the roads due to heavy congestion on them,” said the official.
During the joint action that saw participation of traffic police and Delhi Police personnel, the SDMC also targeted shop owners who had encroached upon the roads for displaying their items.
“The team has seized 45 items, including temporary counters made by the shopkeepers to display their items. Further 25 canopies were also removed and warning for taking punitive action was also given if these encroachments are back on the road,” said the official.
The shopkeepers of the targeted areas, however, were left fuming with SDMC’s action with some blaming the civic agency for targeting only the small shops and being soft on the big showrooms.
“I had constructed one small pedestal on the road for the convenience of buyers. The civic agency demolished it without any notice. This is unfair.They should also take similar action against big showrooms on main roads,” said Ghanshyam, a shopkeeper in the Pushpa Market.
A similar drive was also carried out in the Najafgarh zone, where the civic agency got around 26 acre land vacated and demolished five farm houses and six temporary houses.
In addition to this, around 5,000 square yard of land, earmarked for the education department, was also freed from encroachment.
An anti encroachment drive was undertaken at J Block Saket and surrounding Market number 1. “The team also visited shops at RK Puram’s Church Road and Vivekanand Marg to remove the illegal encroachments,” said the official.