The demolition drive in progress in Zirakpur on Thursday. (Express Photo)
The district administration carried out a demolition drive in Phabat village in Zirakpur on Thursday. The Municipal Council (MC) demolished 13 commercial structures in the area which were buit illegally in a 100 meter radius of the air force station. The administration had to demolish 81 illegal structures which also includes residential buildings.
The drive was carried out on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High court after postponing it several times. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Girish Dayalan said that the drive was conducted peacefully and all 81 structures will be demolished in the coming days. The DC added that the Zirakpur Estate Officer (EO) was directed to carry out the drive smoothly.
The administration used five JCB machines, two fire tenders to carry out the demolition. As many as 250 police personnel were deputed at the site to avert any untoward incident. Police personnel led by Zirakpur Station House Officer (SHO) Gurwant Singh also detained a shop owner who was opposing the drive. Harpreet Singh, husband of ward number 28 councillor Gurpreet Kaur tried to stop a JCB machine, saying that they will not allow the administration to demolish the structures. He was detained by the police and released afer the drive.
Gurpreet Kaur said that it was not justified to the residents who were living in the area for the past many years, and added that they will continue the protest in the coming days as well.
The drive began at 10 am after informing the owners of the commercial establishment that their properties will be demolished. Bharat Bhushan, owner of a shop which was demolished, said that he did not receive any notice from the administration and that he was informed about the demolition of his shop on Thursday morning itself.
The administration had identified 98 structures in the area which were built after 2011 and were said to be illegal. Out of the total structures, 81 owners failed to establish that their building were built prior to 2011.
The next hearing of the case regarding the case has been scheduled for March 3 in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.