MCD issues notice against ‘misleading campaign’ on demolition drive

Misinformation about the civic body-led anti-encroachment drive in the Capital has created confusion among the public, said the

Misinformation about the civic body-led anti-encroachment drive in the Capital has created confusion among the public, said the MCD. | Photo Credit: File photo

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on Thursday issued a public notice stating that the civic body has no plan of demolishing buildings and shops in unauthorised colonies.

The agency gave the statement in response to a “misleading campaign” against its anti-encroachment drive, and issued a helpline number — 9999611008 — on which people can seek clarification about the exercise, officials said.

A senior MCD official familiar with the developments told  The Hindu that “misleading” posters stuck on a few autorickshaws plying on the city roads had resulted in immense confusion among the public.

“The message on the posters read: ‘BJP-led MCD will demolish your houses and shops in unauthorised colonies’. We have been receiving frantic calls from the public, from areas such as Amar Colony, seeking clarification on the warning in these posters,” said the official. When asked if the posters mentioned any political party or organisation taking responsibility for the message, the official refused to comment.

However, another civic official said AAP legislator Madan Lal distributed pamphlets at Kasturba Nagar in south Delhi carrying similar misleading message against the civic body.

When contacted, the AAP MLA said, “I have no knowledge of where the pamphlets were distributed. I am neither confirming nor denying what is being said against me.” Mr. Lal went on to add that the MCD and the BJP were “spreading fear among people” by bulldozing properties without issuing any notice. “The BJP continues to have a link with the MCD [a unified body now] as it now comes under the Centre. If the MCD has come out with a public notice that it is not demolishing properties in unauthorised colonies, then it is good,” Mr. Lal said.

‘Routine exercise’

The corporation, meanwhile, said the anti-encroachment drives were routine and the agency would continue to remove illegal constructions from parks and roads. “The misleading messages caused a lot of commotion among the public. While the anti-encroachment drive is a routine exercise, it has been made into a huge issue,” said the MCD official.

Drive continues

On Wednesday, the civic body rolled out its bulldozers in the city’s Karampura, Naraina and Karol Bagh areas. Close to 400 metres of road was cleared of encroachments, including 10 dhabas, said municipal officials.

The bulldozer drives led by the erstwhile North and South Delhi municipal corporations were met with stiff resistance from residents in various parts of the city, starting with the demolition of properties in violence-hit Jahangirpuri, to a failed attempt at Shaheen Bagh followed by an exercise that turned violent at Madanpur Khadar.

The drives also led to a political slugfest with AAP accusing the BJP of targeting unauthorised colonies and slums with bulldozers to make 60 lakh people in the city “homeless”.

The BJP, however, hit back saying that the civic bodies were removing encroachments by “Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants”.

Commenting on Wednesday’s drive in Naraina, AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said the MCD “demolished” several shops without giving any notice to the shopkeepers.

Civic officials said the anti-encroachment drives will continue at a similar pace as the focus of the unified MCD is on improving sanitation and providing cleaner surroundings.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 1:50:02 am |