AURANGABAD: With the deadline given by the district administration to vacate 328 residential quarters spread across 20 acre of labour colony coming to an end, the residents, opposing the move, carried out a sit-in protest on Monday.

Amidst series of delegations making representations to district guardian minister Subhash Desai, divisional commissioner Sunil Kendrekar and district collector Sunil Chavan, authorities indicated that the rule of law will be followed while demolishing the residential quarters including the ones that date back to 1953.

While refusing to give any concrete assurance to the residents, Desai said, “As already different courts have given rulings in this case, it will be inappropriate for me to say anything on the issue.”

Sources said that the authorities will begin with carrying out legal action for demolishing all the structures that have been tagged as dilapidated and dangerous for living.

After making a representation to Desai, MP Imtiaz Jaleel said, “Without going into the merits of the case, I am of the view that we need to take a considerate and humanitarian view, and settle the families somewhere else instead of making them homeless.”

While citing the example of rehabilitation programme carried out for clearing encroachments from land for constructing Haj house and Vande Mataram Hall, Jaleel suggested that the PM Awas Yojana and CM housing scheme should be used for settling the people being displaced due to the demolition drive.

NCP state office bearer Abdul Qadeer Maulana went on to state that making people homeless will send a wrong message about Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state. He demanded that an inspection be carried out to identify legitimate residents, before taking any further action.

Swarahi Verma, a resident of the area, said, “A structural audit report has been prepared without physically inspecting and auditing the structures. Moreover, the state government does not own this land.”

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