Demolition of shops at Heritage City turns unruly, residents block MG road
Traffic disrupted for 30 mins on Iffco Chowk-Sikandarpur stretch; residents injured in lathi charge by policeUpdated: Nov 30, 2017 23:15 IST
There was high drama at the Heritage City condominiums on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon (MG) Road on Thursday when residents blocked the stretch from Iffco Chowk to Sikandarpur for over half-an-hour.
They were protesting against demolition of shops inside the residential society by the district town planning (DTP) and enforcement department.
The DTP enforcement team on Thursday demolished five porta cabin shops inside the high-end condominium built by the Unitech Limited two decades ago. The society is now maintained by the residents’ welfare association (RWA).
On Wednesday evening, a DTP team had come to raze the shops, but residents didn’t allow them inside the gate. The officials left after sealing one shop.
On Thursday, traffic was disrupted from Iffco Chowk to Sikandarpur because of the protest. Soon, the police moved in and appealed to the agitating residents to clear the service lane and the main carriageway.
“You have the right to take legal recourse if any injustice has been meted out to you. However, we would urge you not to block traffic; it isn’t fair to the commuters,” a policeman was quoted as telling the protesters.
However, residents said they were lathicharged by the police.
“No government official can lathi charge law abiding citizens. We wanted to reason with officials to not raze porta cabin shops. We did not pose any hindrance to the demolition team. But the police pushed us and hit us with lathis. One of the protesting residents was badly injured,” a woman, who was among the protesters, was quoted as telling a policeman.
Residents condemned the demolition without prior notice. The shops, which sold essential items, were managed by RWA.
RWA secretary Rajdeep Sehrawat said, “We asked for a demolition notice, but the enforcement officials couldn’t furnish it. We asked why the shops were being demolished, but they couldn’t give an explanation. We believe an outsider may have bought some commercial space here from the builder and lodged a complaint against the RWA over these shops. We are contemplating legal action against the department, as common area belongs to the RWA and cannot be sold to an outsider.”
Rajender Sharma, DTP enforcement, said, “We got a complaint that residents were running illegal shops. The RWA contested the complaint with principal secretary, TCP. Their plea was rejected and a demolition order was issued. These shops were built in an area earmarked for parking.”
Heritage City is home to 3,000 people.
First Published: Nov 30, 2017 23:15 IST