Makeshift houses and shops at Gurugram's Banjara Market, famous for affordable home decor and furniture items, were demolished on Tuesday by local authorities. More than 250 illegal makeshift shops were demolished by the enforcement team of the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP).
The popular Banjara Market had come up illegally nearly 15 years ago on 25 acres of government land and despite several notices, the illegal occupants were not vacating the land. The market was known for furniture and traditional handicrafts.
The demolished land is a part of a total of 25 acres of land where various projects from college to official accommodations for the Income Tax department are proposed to be set up.
These hutments were facing heat of demolition for quite a while as officers were frequently visiting the site in the past one year.
An official said that shopkeepers were given time to relocate and the action was taken after they ignored several notices to remove encroachments.
"On Monday, we came to initiate the demolition proceedings. Residents were asked us to give the time till the evening to remove their things kept inside the houses and shops. We accepted their demand and gave them one more day to vacate the place. Today, in the morning when we came for the proceedings again, we saw they haven't removed anything," said Ajay Malik, Duty Magistrate.
Malik also said, "We will talk to senior officials on the issue of relocating them."
However, locals alleged that they were not served any proper notice of demolition. Also, an oral direction was given to vacate the place after Diwali.
"We are living here for the last 10 years. We were neither given any notice nor were we informed about anything. As Diwali is around the corner, we had taken a loan, now everything is destroyed. We will not go anywhere. We will stay here only," said one of the residents.
"Earlier they told us to remove our things after Diwali. Today, they didn't even give us any time, at 4 am they just started the demolition," another resident added.
(With inputs from agencies)