Demolition Derby in Lucknow: Bulldozers Flatten 1,100 Homes in Akbar Nagar

Officials stated that the operation would run in two shifts, aiming to demolish “illegal” constructions.
The last demolition drive in Akbar Nagar was carried out on March 10. After 90 days, bulldozers are back in operation here again.
The last demolition drive in Akbar Nagar was carried out on March 10. After 90 days, bulldozers are back in operation here again.Photo: Dainik Bhaskar

Lucknow: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Council of Ministers took oath of office, 1,100 homes were razed to ground in the city’s Akbar Nagar. As six backhoes and 16 bulldozers roared in the locality, residences crumbled one after another like a pack of cards. During the demolition drive, the area was barricaded and sealed tight — with eight companies of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary and the Rapid Action Force standing guard to maintain order.

Meanwhile, in the chaos, residents scrambled to salvage belongings, some even utilized municipal corporation vehicles for evacuation. Officers of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) arrived at Akbar Nagar with bulldozers and police forces at 10 a.m. Upon seeing the bulldozers, residents began gathering their belongings. Free transportation arrangements were made by the administration to shift the belongings.

Officials stated that the operation would run in two shifts, aiming to demolish “illegal” constructions. Residents were purportedly warned to vacate their homes, yet some had not complied.

Why the Action?

Illegal constructions have proliferated along the banks of the Kukrail River in Lucknow, where the Kukrail Riverfront is planned. Hence, the LDA is demolishing unauthorized houses and shops. Thirteen clusters have been identified in the Akbar Nagar area, with each cluster scheduled for clearance. So far, 1,700 people have been provided housing by the LDA.

Sameen Khan, residing there for over 20 years, remarked that despite having a power connection on his wife’s name, he was not allocated a flat under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme.

Another resident Raju insisted that the housing provided by the LDA should be free, as they earn money through hard labor to support their families.

As per the orders of the LDA vice chairman, the operation will run in two shifts, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., altering the local transportation system.

LDA VC Chairman Indramani Tripathi mentioned that 1,679 people from Akbar Nagar have been allocated housing as part of the Basant Kunj scheme at Hardoi Road. To facilitate possession of allocated buildings without inconvenience, a team of officials and employees has been formed.

He claimed allocation letters for the 1,679 people of Akbar Nagar have been uploaded on the LDA website for easy download. About 150 people have already taken possession of the houses and shifted there with their families.

The vice-chairman appealed to the people of Akbar Nagar to quickly obtain allocation letters and take possession.

A resident, Imran Raza, said 90 percent of the local population’s employment is within a 500-meter radius.

“After the relocation, there will be an employment crisis, which responsible authorities are not addressing. Flats are being sold where there are no buyers, prompting the LDA to adopt various policies to fill its coffers,” he alleged.

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