Indore: IMC demolishes 70 structures at Machhi Bazaar after SC dismisses aggrieved residents’ petition

Indore: Around 70 structures, including residential and commercial establishments, were demolished in a joint operation by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) and police on Monday, days after Supreme Court dismissed petitions filed by aggrieved residents against the road widening between Sarwate and Gangwal bus stand.

Machhi Bazaar falls on the stretch between Sarwate and Gangwal bus stand which is part of Smart City project. Many structures in this busy locality are hurdles before the road broadening project, hence demolition drive was carried out to remove the hurdles.

Armed with six poclains, 10 JCBs and dumpers, nearly 200 members of the removal gang along with police force kick-started the drive around 9.30 am and continued till 5.30 pm. “In eight hours of the crackdown, nearly 70 structures including commercial establishments were knocked down,” said additional municipal commissioner Devendra Singh who led the drive.

He said that many residents and shopkeepers had themselves started demolishing their structures before the removal gang reached Machhi Bazaar to commence the drive. The IMC had informed them in advance that their structures were obstacles before the road widening project and hence need to be pulled down.

While some of residents had already agreed to give way for the project, others had moved to court opposing the demolition drive. Petitions were lodged with Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court that ruled in favour of IMC giving a jolt to aggrieved residents. They, however, moved Supreme Court which also found no grounds to interfere in the matter.

Days after apex court denied relief to the petitioners, the IMC along with police personnel undertook the demolition drive at Machhi Bazaar on Monday.  Singh said that a total of 97 structures are hurdles before the road widening project of which nearly 70 were pulled down on Monday. “The rest will be knocked down in a day or two,” he said.

Drone captures drive

For the first time, IMC deployed a drone during demolition drive to record of the operation. The drone was deployed to keep an eye on troublemakers. However, nobody obstructed the drive, Singh said. IMC employees had heated exchanges with an auto rickshaw driver when hand of a JCB machine mistakenly hit his vehicles but the issue was resolved immediately.

Close shave for IMC officer

Additional municipal commissioner Devendra Singh had a close shave when he was standing near a four-storey building that collapsed like a pack of cards. Singh was talking to removal gang members when a poclain machine was started removing a portion of the four-story structure. But as the poclain machine touched it, the structure came down crumbling. Singh was standing near the building and would have come under the weight of debris but an alert removal gang employee pushed him. Singh had a narrow escape.

Six establishments left untouched

The removal gang of IMC did not touch six establishments coming into the way of road widening projects as the landlords have obtained stay from Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court. Singh said that they would act against the building only when the stay is vacated.

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