New Delhi: To counter the ”misconception” about the demolition drives carried out in the capital, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi issued a helpline number on Thursday on which people can seek clarification over its encroachment removal actions, officials said. The move comes after Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the MCD was ”targeting the poor” through demolition drives across the city.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on May 16 held a meeting with all AAP MLAs and asked them to oppose such demolition drives.
Kejriwal had said demolition drives in Delhi will render 63 lakh people homeless and it will be the ”biggest destruction” in Independent India, while accusing the BJP of ”misusing” power.
A public notice issued in this regard said a ”misleading campaign” has been launched recently that the civic body will demolish buildings and shops in unauthorised colonies.
”It is hereby clarified that MCD has no such plans. The encroachments in parks and roads are only being removed as people of Delhi have a right to clear and clean road, parks and hygienic surroundings … For any clarification/information in this regard, one may contact Directorate of Press & Information mobile number 8588813545,” it said.
The notice said the MCD is in service of the people of Delhi and will always be.
”The citizens are requested to not fall prey to any such misleading campaign,” the civic body said in the notice.
An MCD official said the need to issue such a notice was necessary because the opposition parties were building a ”false narrative” of MCD targeting the poor in the garb of encroachment drives.
”These allegations are not true. Encroachment removal actions are planned only to free occupied government land and roads. In case of doubt, people can call on the given number to get clarity on any encroachment or demolition drive conducted in their area,” the official said.
Earlier this month, a series of anti-encroachment drives were conducted by the erstwhile north, east and south civic bodies in different parts of the city, including violence-hit Jahangirpuri, Shaheen Bagh, Madanpur Khadar, New Friends Colony, Mangolpuri, Rohini, Gokulpuri, Lodhi Colony, Janakpuri, Hari Nagar among others. Civic authorities had to face opposition from locals against the drive in Shaheen Bagh, Madanpur Khadar and Jahangirpuri.
The AAP had accused the BJP, which earlier used to rule the three municipalities, of targeting the poor through such drives.
On Wednesday, the MCD carried out an anti-encroachment drive in in southwest Delhi’s Naraina Industrial Area here as officials reached the spot with bulldozers and removed illegal temporary structures including Dhabas, shops, kiosks. AAP leader Durgesh Pathak targeted the MCD over the drive in Naraina Industrial Area and alleged that the civic body ”demolished” several shops without even giving notice to shopkeepers.