BHUBANESWAR: The General Administration (GA) department and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) removed about 16 temporary shops near Rajmahal flyover in a joint eviction drive on Monday.
However, the eviction of about 26 mud houses in a slum near Kasturbha Nari Mahal could not be carried out due to stiff resistance by the slum dwellers.
Sources said besides 16 temporary shops, two cabins were also removed from one of the roads adjacent to SBI branch under Rajmahal flyover. About 37 street vendors were evicted from the road leading towards Adivasi ground in Unit-I.
The enforcement team consisting of BDA and GA officials reached the slum near Kasturbha Nari Mahal on Monday morning, but could not carry out eviction of about 26 mud houses. Despite deployment of two platoons of police force, the eviction drive was halted due to protests by the slum dwellers and a few locals having political affiliations.
Senior State Government officials present during the eviction drive said the dwellers squatted on the road to prevent the bulldozers from moving ahead.
BDA Encroachment Officer Debaprasad Das said stiff resistance from slum dwellers prevented the eviction which could have cleared encroachment on a large chunk of GA land. The slum dwellers have reportedly encroached upon the conservancy line, an area near Government quarters which is usually used for drainage or sewerage channel.
The increasing number of slums encroaching upon Government land in the city has become a problem for the civic authorities. Currently, there are about 120 authorised and more than 340 unauthorised slums in the city. Sources said the eviction of the slum near Kasturbha Nari Mahal will be taken up later.
The BDA will also undertake eviction drives across the city after the model code of conduct is lifted from the State. BDA Encroachment Officer Das said there should be timely provisioning of police force during eviction or demolition drive. If the police personnel are provided on time, eviction could be carried out smoothly, he added.