Five days after a mob vandalised property at the Mahagun Moderne residential society in Sector 78, the Noida Authority on Monday razed over three dozen shanties in the area where most of the agitators lived.
On July 12, a mob armed with sticks and stones stormed the housing society following allegations that their neighbour, a domestic help, was beaten up and held hostage by a family living in the luxury apartments.
The residents of the shanties alleged that the authorities did not give them any prior notice before they razed their homes.
Soaked to the bone
Following the demolition, heavy rain lashed the city, and many of the families could be seen getting soaked as they had no shelter.
“I have two little children and they are forced to sit in the open in the heavy rain. I cannot shift my family anywhere. If the demolition had been planned, then we should have been given some time. Where will I take my family now?” said Mohd. Javed.
“I had taken out a loan to run a tea stall. They [Noida Authority] also razed my shop. Their action has not only made us homeless, but robbed us of our livelihood,” he added.
Noida Authority officials, meanwhile, said that the demolition was part of an anti-encroachment drive.
The move to demolish the shanties came after Noida Authority additional CEO R. K. Mishra inspected the area on Saturday after residents of the society complained of security issues to Noida Authority CEO Amit Mohan Prasad.
“On the complaints of security due to illegal encroachment, the authority razed the shanties and makeshift shops,” said Mr. Mishra.
‘Tussle proved costly’
Mahmood, a tailor who lived in the shanties, said they were given no time to move. “Heavy police force surrounded the area in the morning. The Noida Authority then razed all the shanties. We could not even shift our families,” he said.
“Many of the housing society’s residents had given expensive clothes to me for alteration. Now they will be after me for their clothes,” he added.
“We were peacefully living in the area and offered services to the upscale residential societies. We never realised that a tussle between a maid and apartment owners would prove to be so costly for so many families,” said Ramesh, who had lived in one of the shanties.
The residents said they had received a letter from the authorities two months ago asking them to clear encroachment from the road.
The shanties were then moved to a land that they claim belongs to a private citizen. The authorities, however, said that the land belongs to the Noida Authority.