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Steel hub eviction drive on hold

Jamshedpur, May 28: Bulldozers and earthmovers remained idle today after the East Singhbhum district administration decided to postpone the proposed eviction drive in Ramjanam Nagar and Marine Drive, apparently because of positive feedback it received from local residents.

The decision brought some reprieve, if only temporary, for residents facing the demolition axe.

However, according to a district BJP leader, the demolition drive was halted at the behest of party honchos. “Our state chief Dineshanand Goswami urged the chief minister to take into consideration the plight of residents facing evictions,” he claimed.

District administration officials, meanwhile, could not say when the drive would begin again. “We are mulling our options. The eviction drive, which was scheduled to start today, has been postponed. A decision on when to resume the exercise is expected to taken in a day or two,” said Dhalbum sub-divisional officer (SDO) Sunil Kumar Sinha.

The SDO, who was transferred to Ranchi today, could not hold a scheduled meeting with residents of Ramjanam Nagar. He has been replaced by Subodh Kumar.

“The anti-encroachment drive was postponed today after we received some positive response from the residents. Most of those who own homes on the approach road to Adityapur toll bridge have agreed to co-operate with us,” an official claimed.

Additional deputy commissioner Vijay Kumar Sinha confirmed that the drive had been temporarily postponed and a fresh date would be announced soon. The administration is scheduled to raze close to 482 illegal settlements in Ramjanam Nagar and Marine Drive.

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