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Jamnagar :: Bulldozers still active in Jamnagar Wednesday, December 12, 2001

RAJKOT: Jamnagar's demolition men, it seems, are not in a mood to rest on their laurels.

After the successful conduct of 'operation demolition', first at Khambhaliya and then Dhrol, they are now targeting Kalawad, Salaya and Panakhana.

According to Jamnagar collector Rohit Pathak, "All illegal structures in the district will be covered, one by one."

In a single stroke, as many as 100 buildings, including houses, shops, shopping centres and hotels and guest houses in Kalawad were razed to the ground on Monday.

Some of the areas cleared of encroachment include Shitalnagar Colony and Kailashnagar areas near the octroi post on the Kalawad-Dhoraji highway.

Kalawad mamlatdar L B Bhasha had issued eviction notices to as many as 276 people, asking them to remove the encroachments on their own within three days, or risk them being demolished by the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation's squads.

After the notices were issued, owners of 40 cabins and 15 shops had voluntarily given up their premises.

Resident deputy collector Arjunsinh Rathod is overseeing the demolition operation. Some of the houses demolished were 15 to 17 years old. According to Rathod, land worth Rs 1.25 crore has been cleared of illegal structures.

A similar operation was undertaken at Salaya, considered to be a smugglers' paradise. In view of the sensitive nature of the operations, Jamnagar SP Satish Verma was himself present when the demolition work began on Sunday, when 13 shops were razed to the ground.

On Monday, another 25 shops were demolished. Even a disruption in power supply didn't deter the civic squad. It used generator sets and went ahead with the task. According to a rough estimate, almost two lakh square feet of land had been cleared of illegal structures.

As many as 55 industrial sheds and 35 illegal houses in the Panakhana area were also cleared of unauthorised structures.

The police and the district administration are preparing another list of many such illegal structures on government land. Notices will be issued to the owners by Tuesday morning and they will be given 72 hours to clear the premises.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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