The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Wednesday, 3 May, commenced the first phase of its demolition drive from Tughlakabad's Karni Singh Shooting Range area.
The phase will reportedly end on 13 May, and span across several areas in South Delhi.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a shop-owner impacted by the process expressed distress and said, "They came and took everything. I have nothing left now. My shop was razed and I couldn't do anything. My younger brother and I were begging but they didn't stop."
Rajpal Singh, Standing Committee chairman Central Zone, claimed that no notice was needed ahead of the exercise as the drive aims to tackle "unauthorised encroachments, instances of road grabbing," news agency ANI reported.
Further, SDMC Mayor Mukesh Suryan indicated that Delhi police personnel will be deployed to oversee the law and order situation in the area during the drives.
"Letters have been written to the south and southeast deputy commissioners of police in this regard," Singh reportedly stated.
The drive will reportedly be carried in a phased manner, with settlements in Kalindi Kunj main road and Kalindi Kunj Park to Jamia Nagar Police Station being razed on 5 May, and areas in Srinivaspuri Private Colony to Okhla Railway Station Gandhi Camp being covered in 6 May.
A police official told IANS,
"May 9 will be a challenge as demolition and encroachment removal drives will take place at Shaheen Bagh G Block to Jasola and Jasola Nale to Kalindi Kunj Park. Extra force might be deployed to prevent any untoward incident."Delhi Police official
In the consequent days, the demolitions will be carried out between New Friends Colony and Buddh Dharm Mandir, Lodhi Colony, Meherchand Market, in and around Sai Mandir, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Dhinsen Marg, Iskcon Temple Marg, Khadda colony and Vishnu Garden in Tilak Nagar West Zone among others.
People Stranded After Demolition Drive in Shahdara
On Monday, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had also undertaken similar drives in Shahdara's Mansarovar Park, razing encroachments on pavements and leaving people stranded on the road.
"They asked us to leave these jhuggis and go back to where we came from. If it were that easy, why would we live in a place like this?" a person affected from the drive told The Hindu.
Meanwhile, EDMC Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal called it a 'routine exercise'. "We wanted to take action earlier but did not get police deployment", he was quoted as saying.
(With inputs from ANI, IANS, The Indian Express and The Hindu.)