Politicisation Of Anti-Encroachment Drive in Delhi Is Not In Capital’s Interest
On 9 May 2022, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) sent bulldozers to conduct an anti-encroachment drive at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi. The drive was halted by a mob led by leaders from Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Context: The demolition drive attracted attention due to the area it was being carried in. Shaheen Bagh had been in news as the hub of anti-CAA and NRC protests.
Attempts to Politicise Demolition Drive: Leaders of CPI(M), Congress and AAP jumped into the fray to hinder administrative action.
The CPI(M) approached the Supreme Court to stop the drive. The court refused to entertain the plea and asked the petitioners to approach the High Court.
Okhla Congress committee president, Parvez Alam, sat in front of the bulldozer to halt the action. He was taken away by the Delhi Police.
AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan joined the protesters to stop the drive. An FIR has been registered against him for allegedly hindering the demolition drive and using force against officials.
Separating Facts from Fiction: Those protesting against the demolition tried to colour the drive as communal and vindictive. However:
Demolition drive in Shaheen Bagh is part of the overall anti-encroachment exercise being carried out by all three MCDs.
As per Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, mayor, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), meetings were held with different departments, complaints of encroachments were assessed and areas requiring attention were identified. The people of these areas were then duly informed through announcements to remove encroachments in time.
The three MCDs would be conducting a clearance drive across Delhi over the week.
EDMC identified Mustafabad, Nand Nagri, Seemapuri, Jheel Krishna Nagar, Patparganj, Khureji, Kalyanpuri, Ghazipuand other places to conduct demolition drives.
NMCD, which had carried out an anti-encroachment drive at Jahangirpuri, identified Sadar-Paharganj zone to conduct the clearance drive.
South MCD identified Okhla, Shaheen Bagh, Sangam Vihar and Vishnu Garden for the same purpose.
Rampant Encroachment in Delhi: Delhi’s roads, footpaths, parks, water bodies, and railway lands have been heavily encroached upon.
Over 70 acres of land belonging to 964 parks under the civic bodies have been encroached upon.
In a survey done to ascertain the condition of Delhi’s water bodies, it was found that out of 1,050 water bodies, 400 have either been encroached upon or have dried up.
Bottom line: It is critical to take a strong stand against encroachments taking place in the national capital. Not only are these against the law of the land but have also been found to be hubs of ghettoisation, corruption, illegal settlements and criminal syndicates.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.