Demolition drive begins to clear encroachments from Gurgaon’s Banjara market


Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) Monday demolished over 14 acres of makeshift shops and hutments to reclaim encroached land at Banjara market in Sectors 52A and 53. In the past few years, the market — inhabited by the Gadiya Lahors nomadic community who originally hail from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan — had gained popularity among shoppers in Delhi-NCR for affordable home decor and furniture.

On Monday, the enforcement team of HSVP conducted a demolition drive amid heavy police deployment. Officials said the entire encroached land would be cleared in a two-day drive. The remaining encroachment will be cleared using earthmoving machines on Tuesday, officials added.

Jitender Kumar, estate officer 2, HSVP, said, “In the two day drive, the entire encroached land will be cleared. A notice was served to shopkeepers last week to shift their wares and vacate the government land.”

The HSVP land in the area has been earmarked for the construction of a group housing society, a bus stand and a college. A similar demolition drive was conducted in 2021 when over 250 shanties were demolished and on another occasion several years ago. However, shopkeepers rebuilt them and returned.

On April 21, after chairing a meeting of district public relations and grievance redressal committee in Gurgaon, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had directed officials to ensure immediate removal of all illegal encroachments in their respective jurisdictions. While hearing a complaint about dumping of debris, illegal mushrooming of slums and encroachments on government lands in Gurgaon, the CM had directed the concerned officer to remove all encroachers within a month’s time.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers whose houses and shanties were demolished in the Banjara market stared at an uncertain future.

Anil Gadiya Lahor said officials had served a notice on Friday to vacate the market in two days.

“For the past few months, the threat of eviction had been looming. I tried to clear the stock of household items including lamps, vases, tables, plants in a distress sale. But, since I do not have a warehouse, I have suffered a substantial loss. We requested authorities several times to allot an alternate space, but they did not listen to us,” he said.

Deepu Gadiya Lahore, said, “We are from the nomadic community. We moved to this area over a decade ago, and have been paying rent for these shanties. I do not know where to go now. How will my children survive? In this heat, we have been rendered homeless. Our earnings have already been affected due to Covid.”