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Congress MLA from Rajkot (East), Indranil Rajyaguru and other party workers sat on Dharna and brought to halt a demolition drive by Rajkot Municipal Corporation to remove encroachment from a road on Thursday. However, after the civic body agreed to allot houses to some of the affected families, the Congress workers ended their protest.
Rajyaguru and scores of Congress workers were sitting on the 15-meter Town Planning Scheme (TPS) road near Dwarkesh Park in Raiya area of the city since early morning. As officers of town planning department of RMC came with excavators for the scheduled operation to demolish 26 unauthorised structures, the MLA and his supporters sat on dharna on the road and halted the drive. Rajyaguru demanded that the families who stand to lose their houses to the encroachment removal drive should be given alternative housing facilities by the civic body.
The tussle went on for about two hours as the MLA said that 73 families who had lost their homes during a similar drive in Raiyadhar area a few month ago had also not been given alternative housing facilities. However, RMC officers eventually managed to convince the MLA that once the encroachment on the 15-meter road was removed, families affected by the two demolition operations would be given houses.
“All the 26 housing structures were there before Raiya TPS was developed in 2006. However, they were on government land and therefore were unauthorised. We assured the MLA that once the pipelines for supplying drinking water are laid, the 73 families whose houses had been razed while clearing encroachment of 24-metre road and eight families affected by the drive on 15-metre road will be allotted house under the Indiranagar housing scheme itself,” said Mansukh Sagathiya, town planning officer of RMC. He said that according to a policy of the civic body, RMC gives alternative free housing facility to those families who lose their unauthorised houses during encroachment removal drives.