The illegal shops were built along the wall of Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam, in the lane behind Bahadurshah Zafar Marg,
More than 50 shops were flagged as being in violation of the law and were set for demolition; by the time the bulldozers arrived, half of the shop owners had already removed their belongings. The removal action is being carried out in compliance with Delhi High Court orders, the MCD having made sure that all appropriate legal action has been taken.
On 22 June, the demolition drive began behind The Times of India building at noon. To ensure that the operation went off without a hitch, the MCD had asked the Delhi Police for help.
The drive was successfully carried out with more than a dozen police officers on the scene, reducing several shops to rubble.
Yogendra, who had rented a bookstore in the area, said that he was unaware of any such notice. “My landlord did not tell me about this when I rented this business four months ago. I was just settling down, and business was just picking up. I now need to launch it from scratch at a new place.”
Alam owned a small tea shop here since 1986. He said, “We were warned about this earlier in a notice and had begun the hunt out for alternative locations.” He added that they were made aware of other possibilities well in advance.
“I started looking for a new location for my business but for the past two weeks, I have been unable to do so. Now things have gotten much more challenging for me”, says Alam.