Millennium Post

MCD discriminated in demolition drive, say Shaheen Bagh residents

MCD discriminated in demolition drive, say Shaheen Bagh residents

New Delhi: Residents of two Delhi neighbourhoods who recently witnessed bulldozers rumbling down their colonies have alleged the municipal corporation had been off the mark in its performance when it comes to garbage management, with many complaining that the anti-encroachment drive selectively targeted a particular community.

The allegations come ahead of elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on December 4.

"The MCD has been running an agenda to disturb the people of Shaheen Bagh," Sohail, a 52-year-old store owner at Shaheen Bagh market told PTI, referring to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation's anti-encroachment drive in May when bulldozers rolled into the neighbourhood with police cover before returning without conducting the exercise.

Shaheen Bagh had been the epicentre of the anti-CAA/NRC movement from late 2019 to early 2020.

Sohail claimed that the civic body had failed in its primary job of keeping the area clean and resorted to "harassing residents".

Bir Pal, another Shaheen Bagh resident, said on the anti-encroachment drives, "The MCD harasses us time and again. Sometimes they take our stalls away, sometimes they impose fines on us."

Nadeem Mallick, a salesman at a factory price shop in Shaheen Bagh, alleged that the MCD had not done anything notable in the last 5-10 years.

"On occasions, they clear out the garbage just for the sake of clicking pictures and publicity. These areas are not cleaned on time," Mallick said.

However, some other residents said they were satisfied with the civic body's work.

"The MCD has done its job and I am satisfied with that," said Mohammad Siraj, a garage owner at Shaheen Bagh.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation had also received flak for carrying out a demolition drive in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri.

Bulldozers razed several structures in the area as part of an anti-encroachment drive in April. The exercise continued for one-and-a-half hours even after a Supreme Court directive to stop it.

Jahangirpuri had witnessed clashes between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in early April, leaving eight police personnel and a local resident injured.

Speaking to PTI, Jahangirpuri residents said lack of cleanliness and garbage menace were the key problems that they had been facing for several years.

"There is major garbage mismanagement in Jahangirpuri. Politicians are visiting door-to-door for votes but once the polls are over, they will shrug the responsibilities. This has been happening for the last 10 years," 62-year-old Jahangirpuri resident Mohammad Munna told PTI.

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