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Two sides of operation demolition
NPN: Dimapur, 18 Jul 2008
Published on 19 Jul. 2008 1:05 AM IST
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Following a request from ten landlords/building owners/firms of Dimapur town along Circular Road for time extension of clearing their structures, the DMC has extended the time till July 28. DMC chairperson, K. Khekaho Assumi in a press release however said that it would carry out the demolition drive as planned to those buildings/landlords that have not sought time extension. Meanwhile, speaking to this reporter at his office chamber, Khekaho said that the government was willing to sanction funds for development after the demolitions in various places were completed. “We are in touch with the government and after demolition we are going to construct pavements and drains” he said . Khekaho was optimistic that people would witness tangible results after widening of road and beautification of the town. He said the DMC requested patta holders to clear the obstructions in the larger interest of the public. The DMC chairperson further said encroachment over drains would be illegal even if some possessed patta. “You can’t construct a house above the drain and say I have the patta. It is illegal” Khekaho said. DMC member, Thungchathung Lotha disclosed that the third phase of demolition drive would be carried out from Dhobinala to ADC Court Junction on completion of the second phase. He said the DMC would verify where demolition would be carried out. Another DMC member, I. Nungsang Jamir said public can meet with the DMC members who would be visiting places where demolition was to be carried. He appreciated those who took prompt action in demolishing structures. Public resentment Meanwhile, there were many among the public who were unhappy with the manner in which the DMC carried out its demolition drive. While some termed the demolition drive as “haphazard” others resented being asked to remove/demolish encroached structure as it implied they were encroachers. Anthony, a building owner housing nine families said the tenants find themselves being displaced due to the suddenness of the demolition notices. He said the DMC had given only seven days effective from July 14 though the notice was received only late in the evening on July 15. He rued that he now has to dismantle a major portion of the building within a very limited period. Another who was affected, Vikiye Sema , claimed he had donated land on three previous occasions for the road expansion (totaling more than 36,000 square feet). He said the operation demolition was “illegal” and “partial” as public were not given time to understand the implication. Further, he said the demolition lacked proper consultation and planning. Vikiye said he was aggrieved at being issued the notice for “encroachment” when the structures were covered under his patta. “I’ve not encroached even an inch, instead I’ve donated my land for road expansion”, he said. He also said those to be affected should have been given sufficient time of at least thirty days, as per the law, to state their cases before the DMC. He said the drive was “haphazard” and that damages would be claimed if demolition was forcefully undertaken. On the other hand, he was open to expansion and demolition if the same yardstick was applied to everyone and not on a pick-and-choose random basis. Another resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was not against development but rather appreciated the DMC’s efforts but regretted the manner in which the drive was being carried out. He said the DMC letter, demanding removal of “unauthorized and encroached” structure hurt his sentiments as his fencing fell within his land. “I don’t have any grudge towards development but the way they acted indeed hurt our sentiments”, said another local resident. He also said if his land was to be taken, then the DMC must pay adequate compensation as per the law. He also echoed similar sentiments that the demolition drive was haphazard.He said the DMC should have made its plans public so that people would also appreciate an

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