Through a rainy weekend, MCD squads target hazardous, polluting businesses on Day Two of the drive
NEW DELHI: The ongoing drive by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi against illegal commercial establishments here in the Capital remained a low-key affair for the second day running on Saturday as its squads targeted just about 250 properties in different parts of the city. Apart from Zamrudpur in South Delhi, the drive remained by and large peaceful with the biggest sealing action being carried out at a multi-storey modern gymnasium and fitness centre in the upmarket Defence Colony area of South Delhi.
Braving rain, MCD squads accompanied by police personnel fanned out in different directions in the morning and went about sealing illegal commercial properties, including those operating from the basement and other floors. The drive mainly was focused on hazardous and polluting businesses even as people in some areas accused the civic body's squads of sealing even those properties that were no longer being used for commercial purposes.
Some ongoing illegal constructions were also targeted at a couple of places.
Though at some places affected people came out on the streets and raised slogans against the Centre, the Delhi Government and the MCD, it was only at Zamrudpur that angry residents, mainly women, staged a protest by blocking the main road for more than an hour causing massive traffic jams in the area. Outnumbered, the MCD and police squads had to suspend the drive till reinforcements arrived, after which the sealing action was resumed.
The MCD also sealed a multi-storey ultra-modern gymnasium-cum-fitness centre -- Ozone -- operating from D-27, Defence Colony, in South Delhi. The entire building was allegedly built illegally without any sanction plan. Interestingly, the fitness centre equipped with an aerobic dance floor and hi-tech lighting and sound system was being run under the grab of a nursing home.
During the day, a total of 49 properties were sealed in Najafgarh Zone, while 37 were targeted in Rohini Zone and 31 in Karol Bagh Zone, which included half-a-dozen fitness centres in the Patel Nagar and Rajinder Nagar areas. Similarly, 25 shops were sealed in Shahdara (South) Zone, 22 in Sadar Paharganj Zone and 18 in City Zone.
Elsewhere, the drive remained very slow. The MCD squads targeted just eight illegal commercial establishments in South Zone, six in West Zone and five in Civil Lines Zone. No sealing exercise was carried out in Narela and Central Zone. However, some encroachment removal action was carried out at Sarita Vihar in Central Zone where unauthorised structures were removed from along roads and public land.
The drive will remain suspended on Sunday and the demolition action is likely to be stepped up on Monday.