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HomeIndia‘Will you demolish 80% of Delhi,’ asks Kejriwal of BJP-led civic drive...

‘Will you demolish 80% of Delhi,’ asks Kejriwal of BJP-led civic drive to remove encroachment

The Supreme Court has halted the demolition in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri while a civic body argues it was a routine exercise.

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Monday if a recently-launched anti-encroachment initiative by the capital’s three civic bodies would take down most of the city.

Kejriwal said, “Delhi has not been built or expanded in a planned manner for 70 years.” “Eighty per cent of Delhi is illegal or encroached. This begs the question whether 80 per cent of Delhi would be demolished?” he asked.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was speaking on the ongoing bulldozer drive by municipalities to remove encroachment in various areas of Delhi. All three civic bodies – North, East and South — are ruled by the BJP.

“Even we are against encroachment,” Kejriwal said, adding, “But we oppose the way it is being done. They (BJP) are planning to demolish all unauthorised colonies, slums and have made a list of partial encroachments. This would make about 63 lakh people homeless. Bulldozing won’t be tolerated.”

In the beginning of May, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation launched a 10-day anti-encroachment drive in areas under its jurisdiction, including Shaheen Bagh which was the seat of anti-CAA protests in 2019.

The drive came after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta on 20 April wrote to municipal mayors to remove encroachment by “Rohingyas, Bangladeshi and anti-social elements”.

Soon after the letter, bulldozers rolled into Jahangirpuri in the north, which had witnessed religious violence just four days ago.

The Supreme Court intervened and ordered the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to maintain a status quo. But the NDMC argued in court that the drive was a routine administrative exercise.

Delhi’s three civic bodies have carried out demolitions in several parts of the capital, including Shaheen Bagh, Madanpur Khadar, New Friends Colony, Mangolpuri, Karol Bagh, Khyala, and Lodhi Colony.

The AAP on Thursday alleged that BJP leaders have taken bribes and allowed unauthorised constructions in the city.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told reporters: “We are also against unauthorised constructions. The people of Delhi don’t want such things to happen to the city. But the question that arises is who allowed these unauthorised constructions and encroachments across Delhi? It’s the BJP which has been ruling the MCD (civic bodies) for the last 15 years.”

Also read: ‘I send people into depression,’ Ashok Gehlot counters Rahul Gandhi’s remark on senior leaders


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