|A STAFF REPORTER|
More than 400 people who had encroached on a state government plot in Nonadanga, off the EM Bypass, were evicted on Friday to expedite an infrastructure project.
Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) officials arrived at the area, around a kilometre from Ruby hospital, with bulldozers and dumpers around 10am. When the encroachers resisted the drive, police detained at least 50 of them. They were set free in the afternoon after the operation had been completed.
By then, little remained of the shanties, tea stalls, stationery shops and an illegal country liquor store at Mazdurpara colony, which had about 135 households.
"The encroachment affected the bus-railway transit system and the Garia to airport Metro project. Work will now pick up pace," said a senior CMDA official.
"Those evicted had recently settled at Nonadanga. They had been brought to the area by Maoists from Khejuri and Jungle Mahal. We did not evict those who had been living at Nonadanga for more than three years," said state municipal affairs minister and the CMDA chairman, Firhad Hakim.
"It would have become impossible to remove the settlers from the urban development department's property. Many of them had been given flats in the area that they rented out and lived in the shanties," he added.
"We had met Firhad Hakim on Tuesday after the police announced the eviction drive and he assured us that our homes would not be broken," said Purna Mondal, who claimed to have been living in the area for 16 years.
Cops remained in the area till late to ensure that the men did not rebuild their shanties or start a roadblock as they had done last Monday.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Posted by Palash Biswas at 7:41 AM