: A stretch of about 1km of Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Central Delhi was cleared of squatters on Saturday by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
The Enforcement Department of the civic body removed those who had been living on the footpath by taking away their belongings. Starting from outside PVR Rivoli till the Indian Coffee Home, the entire footpath was cleared of bedding and other household items, and adorned with large potted plants.
A senior Enforcement Department official said that real challenge would be to keep the footpaths clear of squatters, as similar drives in the past had failed.
However, activists working with the homeless said the drive was unauthorised as the NDMC had not given any notices.
“These people – 37 men, 40 women and 70 women – had been living there since before 1984. Many of them have voter ID cards from that location. Among the children, 35 attend NDMC schools. The drive was illegal as they gave no notice and did not give them a place to go to,” said Sunil Kumar Aledia of the Centre for Holistic Development.
He added that a police complaint had been filed against the NDMC for the drive, in which, he alleged, that prescriptions and school uniforms had been taken.
The NDMC now plans to remove squatters from Lutyens’ Delhi.