Residents cry foul as SDMC removes encroachments from New Friends Colony

A bulldozer removing encroachments outside a house in New Friends Colony on Tuesday.

A bulldozer removing encroachments outside a house in New Friends Colony on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The bulldozers of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) reached the upmarket New Friends Colony on Tuesday. Several encroachments in form of gardens and sheds outside the houses were removed by the South civic body officials in the presence of police and paramilitary personnel.

According to the SDMC, encroachments were removed from a 2-km stretch in the area. A total of 12 sheds were removed along with mesh-like structures constructed outside houses that were obstructing the right of way on the footpaths.

When asked whether the civic body was planning anti-encroachment drives in other affluent parts of south Delhi, a senior SDMC official said that action will be taken “as and when we receive the assistance from the police.” 

Many residents of New Friends Colony objected to the demolition drive, describing it as “a form of bullying.”

Meghana, a local, said a wire mesh along the boundary walls of her 30-year-old residence was brought down by a bulldozer, despite the civic officials “never” having served her notice.

“We are disturbed by the hawkers who encroach upon our roads and make it difficult for us to move around. But the civic officials instead removed our plants and trees, which makes no sense,” she said.

An SDMC official said the civic body did not have to issue notices before taking action against encroachments.

“Those who construct such garden-like structures are also aware that they have encroached upon footpaths and public land. When authorities take action, they play the victim card. Instead, people should also learn a lesson from this drive and voluntarily remove such encroachments, which they have constructed,” the senior SDMC official added. 

Meanwhile, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, in a letter to the SHO, New Friends Colony Police Station, said the drive was being carried out at the behest of the Delhi BJP Chief Adesh Gupta. He demanded that a complaint be registered against those involved in “illegally” uprooting a tree, which the MLA said had been done in violation of the “Forest Act and Delhi Preservation of Trees Act (1994).”

On the same day, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation also carried out a demolition drive in Mangolpuri. The North civic body said 66 temporary encroachments in the area’s Y-1 block were removed on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 1:23:09 pm |