Staff Reporter

"MCD squads to target only big malls and shopping complexes built illegally in Lal Dora"

NEW DELHI: Assuring residents of the Capital's "Lal Dora" rural areas that no large-scale demolition would be carried out in their localities as widely feared, Municipal Commissioner A. K. Nigam on Monday said the civic body's demolition squads would be targeting only the big malls and shopping complexes that have come up illegally over the years.

Stating that he was still studying the recent Delhi High Court order on the issue, Mr. Nigam said there was no need to panic as action in the Lal Dora areas would mainly target huge complexes. A strategy was being prepared after which action would be initiated, he added.

Mr. Nigam also informed that the list of 18,000-odd properties on which notices were served between 2001 and 2005 was ready and would be put up soon on the civic body's website as directed by the High Court. The list would be regularly updated, he added.

Asserting that the MCD would be taking strict action as per High Court directions, Mr. Nigam said he had asked the Deputy Commissioners of all 12 civic zones to survey all ongoing constructions in their areas and check for violations, if any, so that action could also be taken against them.

The Commissioner also said that in keeping with the court directions the MCD had decided to change its demolition strategy and instead of carrying out partial demolitions, anti-encroachment squads would raze illegal structures and move to other localities only after the demolition exercise in a particular area was completed.

Asked about action against illegal properties of prominent politicians, Mr. Nigam said the list of these leaders as mentioned by the High Court as well as the MCD House was being prepared for submission to the court. He, however, remained non-committal about initiating action against other leaders whose names have figured in media reports.Meanwhile, continuing their action after the weekend break, MCD demolition squads on Monday targeted 16 properties during their ongoing drive. The areas covered included East of Kailash, Lajpat Nagar-II, Katra Kushal Rai, Singh Sabha Road, Karol Bagh, Palam Extension, Hathikhana, New Zafrabad and Gandhi Nagar. While one commercial property was pulled down, eight residential and three commercial properties were partially demolished and four residential properties were sealed.

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