Demolition drive in Mehrauli area continues amid protest

NewsDrum Desk
13 Feb 2023
Demolition drive in Mehrauli

Residents react as Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials demolish alleged illegal structures during an anti-encroachment drive, at Mehrauli in New Delhi

New Delhi: An "anti-encroachment drive" in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park area went on for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with Delhi Development Authority and police personnel facing protests from many local residents during the exercise.


The drive had begun on Friday and comes a month ahead of a proposed G20 meeting at the park in South Delhi that, according to the DDA, has about 55 monuments under the protection of the archaeological Survey of India, state archeological department and the authority.

The demolition drive continued today and action was taken in the area located near the Bhool Bhulaiyaa monument, a senior Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official said.

"We will continue the drive to remove illegal structures. Some parties have approached court seeking a stay on the demolitions and so only those structures will be removed which are not part of any litigation," an official source said.


A group of around 50 women staged a protest in the locality against the anti-encroachment drive.

They raised slogans "demanding justice" and also showed their documents to members of the media present during the drive.

Officials spoke to them and pacified them, and eventually they ended their protest, a senior police officer said.


A day before, a group of protesting women had thrown chilli powder at many police personnel who were deployed during the drive, he said.

The anti-encroachment drive at Ladha Sarai village that began on Friday had triggered protests as well as a blame game between the AAP and the BJP.

Nearly 1,200 sqm of government land has been reclaimed during the "anti-encroachment drive" carried out in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park area, and the exercise will continue, DDA officials had said on Saturday.


"The court has in the past taken note of the encroachment in the historic park in connection with multiple cases, and many people in the past few decades have built unauthorised structures, some even five-storey or six-storey, in the area. A notice was issued last December and it was pasted on walls to alert people," a senior official in the DDA had said on Friday.

Earlier a demolition order dated December 12, 2022, was pasted on walls of structures along with markings. It had directed to "encroachers to remove all the unauthorised construction from the land in question within 10 days".

The order said the land on which the demolition is being carried out is part of the Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the "existing unauthorised encroachment is acting as a hindrance to the development of the Mehrauli Archaeological Park".


On Saturday, the Arvind Kejriwal government had asked the DDA to stop its anti-encroachment drive in Mehrauli, officials said.

Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot has ordered a fresh demarcation exercise in the area, they said.

The minister had said the residents of the area cannot be displaced until a fresh demarcation is conducted, officials said.

The DDA had based the revenue department's demarcation as its ground for demolition of alleged encroachments, they claimed.