25 shops razed at Dhanas marble market

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The demolition drive to clear the marble market in Dhanas, which had come up in violation of the Periphery Control Act, turned out to be a damp squib with barely 25 out of the over 250-odd structures being razed.

The drive, which started at 10 am, came to a halt when some local leaders including H S Lucky and some other councillors besides Manish Bansal, son of Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, reached the spot and made "requests" to the officials to give the traders some time to pick up their wares.

Sources said the drive was stopped soon after Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin reached the spot to talk to the marble dealers.

Prior to this, heated arguments were witnessed between the dealers and the team, including land acquisition officer (LAO) Tilak Raj. Besides the enforcement staff of the UT Estate Office, over 100 policemen accompanied the officials.

After the intervention of the local leaders, the drive was stopped midway around noon and the dealers were given five days' time to remove the heavy marble sheets and other stones used in construction voluntarily.

However, the LAO said, "It was a successful drive. We were able to convince the dealers to remove the material on their own which they have agreed to. In fact, by evening, we sent our teams to the spot and were told that already many of the dealers had started removing the illegal sheds."

Over 250 marble dealers are running their business from the area, which is termed the second biggest marble market after Delhi in the region. The market location violates the Periphery Control Act which stipulates that no business can be run on the agricultural land. These dealers were duly served notices and were given sufficient chances of hearing.

After the drive to remove the marble dealers came to an abrupt end, the team then moved on to the Dhanas colony situated behind the market. The team removed over 50 illegal housing structures that had come up on the shamlat land (common land of the village) there.

The team then issued a warning to the residents against settling on the government land and gave two days' time to the remaining house owners to voluntarily remove the structures. "Our team will be visiting the colony on Saturday again and the remaining illegal housing structures will be removed," Raj added.

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