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Pull-down drive in Howrah park

Howrah, Feb. 2: The civic authorities in the city today evicted nearly 5,000 illegal settlers living at the 93-bigha Belilious Park.

Many of those who lived in the park — adjacent to the Tikiapara station — worked as sweepers at the Howrah Municipal Corporation. Some of them had been living there for about two-and-a-half decades.

Though a section of the encroachers had snatched loudspeakers and microphones from policemen announcing Sunday’s eviction two days ago, there was no resistance today.

Around 9 am, a large police force led by additional superintendent (town) Rahul Srivastava descended on the area with corporation officials armed with pay-loaders and bulldozers led by sub-assistant engineer Tarak Dutta. A fleet of 50 trucks was ready to carry the debris.

Seeing the police, the encroachers gradually moved out.

Officials said they were planning to build three shopping complexes on a portion of the park. The civic body could earn Rs 12 lakh every year as rent from the markets. The rest of the park would be beautified.

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