MC skipping demolition drives despite high court orders
Anti- encroachment drive of the municipal corporation seems to be hitting rough waters as one after another four drives have been postponed citing technical reasons.
The drive of the MC seems to be jinxed as officials of the building branch have not been able to initiate the antiencroachment drive in many areas that was started after the Punjab and Haryana high court orders. The MC had formed a master plan for different areas so that demolition of illegal structures could be carried out in properly.
However, during the past sometime the MC has postponed four anti-encroachment drives in different areas citing different reasons.
The MC is also claiming that the demolition drives that have been postponed would be conducted after proper process is carried out.
The MC has also postponed its demolition drive at Salem Tabri to be held on Friday as the officials are scrutinising the documents provided to them by the building owners of the area. It is supposed to demolish the buildings that have encroached upon 5-metre land from the main road according to the orders of the high court. Buildings that have been constructed after 1995 are supposed to leave 5-metre space from the road.
The MC received first setback on March 13 when it deferred a demolition drive at Gur Mandi in old city area of Ludhiana as the shopkeepers who were protesting against the drive tried to give it communal colour.
Thirty shops were supposed to be demolished in the area on the orders of Punjab and Harayana high court. MC officials were accompanied by many police officials and equipments to demolish the 30 shops that were built alongside a temple. These shops are illegal and allegedly built on the MC land.
The second setback was received by the MC in just eight days on March 21 when the MC thwarted a demolition drive at the Talaab Bazaar. The situation went communal because the shops were located close to the temple in the area and shopkeepers protested against the drive. Nearly 400 shopkeepers protested against the MC after which the drive was postponed.
The recent drive on April 2 at Haebowal Kalan was postponed when the police were not able to provide security to the MC officials who were supposed to demolish illegal structures in the area. Police told the MC officials that there was a test of head constables on the given date after which the drive was postponed.
A senior MC official said, " The MC is postponing the demolition drives one after another. This could land the MC in a serious problem after sometime as the drive has been ordered by the high court."
MC commissioner RK Verma has not tried to fill the loopholes before these demolition drives. Delayed tactics and last-minute experiments are the reasons why the demolition drives are facing a setback time and again.