Wednesday, 10 January 2018 | PNS | Haridwar-
Amidst strong resistance by the residents, the anti- encroachment drive continued for the second day on Tuesday in BHEL area by the officials with the assistance of the local police. Angered over the action of the officials, the colony residents themselves put their huts on fire.
On Monday too, the police and BHEL officials faced stiff resistance from the residents of the colony inhabited mostly by the daily wage earners, resulting in the drive remaining stuck for about an hour.
However, on Tuesday, the drive resumed around 12 pm and the area where the drive was carried out stretched from Sector 2 of BHEL to Jwalapur. The illegally constructed structures were razed to the ground by JCB machines with SP city Mamta Vohra in the lead.
A slum resident Leela Devi who fainted in shock over the hut she had been living in for years being grounded later said that they had been forced by the drive into the open when the whole district is shivering in the biting cold. “It is an irony that when police in some districts are distributing blankets among the poor Haridwar police have driven us to shiver in the chilling cold,” she lamented.
The slum residents were heard raising slogans against the MLA from Ranipur and the state urban development minister, holding them responsible for their predicament. They indulged in stone pelting too. They set ablaze some huts they lived in for years by way of venting their anger against what they called inhumane drive.
A fire brigade was called to douse the fire. However, unfazed by the reaction, the drive continued. To further buttress security, a PAC battalion was deployed in the area. Till late evening the drive continued.
Notably, the anti-encroachment drive was warranted by the encroachers refusing to vacate the land despite the BHEL authorities having given the slum dwellers another land to shift. BHEL sources said that they had sent notice to the encroachers about a month ago to vacate the encroached land to which the encroachers allegedly paid no heed to.
A joint team comprising officials of the district irrigation department and Haridwar police removed encroachments in an area stretching from Bhimgoda to the main Haidwar city on Tuesday.
Some shacks in the Pantdweep were also razed during the drive and the articles of the encroachers were seized by the police.
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