18 houses in Bhondsi illegal colony demolished amid protests

The department of town and country planning (DTCP) on Tuesday demolished 18 fully constructed houses at an unauthorised colony in Bhondsi, amid stiff resistance and protests by owners and local residents.

DTCP officials said that it took them almost an hour to start the demolition drive after reaching the spot, as a large number of people had gathered at the site and refused to give way. It was only after the intervention by a posse of the Gurugram police that the demolition process commenced in the colony, they said.

RS Bhath, district town planner, enforcement, who led the team, said that 18 houses were demolished along with 50 plinths and a long boundary wall in the colony, which is being developed on around 12 acres. “A survey was conducted last week and the inspection revealed that 18 houses had been newly constructed but were not occupied by the owners. We demolished those houses as they were built against all norms, in an unauthorised colony,” said Bhath.

Even as the demolition drive was being carried out, a large number of locals and area residents raised slogans against the DTCP officials, following which the police again had to intervene again and issue a warning to the protesters. DTCP officials said the protests escalated when a group of locals gathered on Sohna Road and threw a large pipe on the road to block the route, causing a short traffic jam.

“When we came to know about the protest at Sohna Road, the police team, along with DTCP team, marched around one kilometre to the spot and made the protesters to leave the area. We have also conducted videography of the entire protest to identify the persons causing trouble,” said Bhath.

DTCP officials said that they had carried out demolition drives in the same colony twice in the past, but the landowners and plot buyers refused to heed their warnings. “The department has come up with new policies to develop such land for residential purposes. The owners should get licences and then sell it or develop, but they can’t be allowed to simply flout the rules,” said Bhath.

DTCP officials said that despite the protests, the demolition was carried out and similar drives would be carried out across the city in the next two weeks. “We appeal to plot buyers not to invest in unauthorised colonies and instead, buy property in affordable projects. We have also thanked the Gurugram police for its strong support today and during other such drives,” said Bhath.

In a related development, the department has recommended that an FIR be registered against a developer for selling plots in illegal colonies in Badshahpur, Bhondsi and Sohna. “I called the company number and their representatives tried to sell me an illegal plot. We have decided to lodge an FIR against them,” Bhath said.

Subash Boken, public relations officer, Gurugram police, said that adequate police force was deployed during the drive to prevent any untoward incident. “There were arguments only and nothing major happened,” he said.

Harish Vashist, whose shop in Bhondsi was demolished on Tuesday by DTCP officials, said that the department had not given them any notice regarding the action. “We have built the shop on our land and this was not part of an unauthorised colony. We had spent around Rs 8 lakh of our hard earned money and the entire family is devastated,” said Vashisht.

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