The special demolition drive by NMMC at the APMC Masala market was stalled at the last minute due to unavailability of the requisite police bandobast.
The city police refused to provide personnel for the bandobast citing security engagements for the legislative council elections on Friday.
Meanwhile, the traders have been trying their best to prevent any action. They even staged a protest on Thursday to put pressure on the officials.
The five markets in APMC market have reportedly become the biggest commercial encroachment hubs. Sources allege that the traders have in collusion with APMC officials, personnel and security department encroached huge areas in the market.
An NMMC official said, “In masala market, around 650 traders have alleged constructed illegal lofts and mezzanine floors. Shopkeepers in Merchant Chamber located outside the market too have allegedly constructed lofts.”
The NMMC had earlier on May 16 undertaken a drive to remove the encroachments. The action was however stopped due to opposition by traders who claimed that they had taken additional FSI permission.
The official said, “Following verification of the documents, it was found that no FSI permission had been sanctioned. The next drive was again planned for June 2. NMMC had informed police about it and asked for police security for its personnel, to which the police had agreed.”
On Wednesday, a meeting was held between APMC, police and NMMC officials. NMMC had made all arrangements for the demolition action.
An NMMC official said, “In the morning, the anti-encroachment department received a letter from police that they will not be able to provide security.”
He lamented, “One fails to understand why the police changed their stance at the last moment. We will plan the demolition drive on a different date.”