Excavators, bulldozers and other demolition gear rolled out on Tata-Kandra Road on Wednesday, breaking the extended portions of 15 buildings, including one roadside eatery.
The team, led by Gamharia circle inspector Lakhiram Baske and Adityapur police station officer-in-charge K.N. Mishra, demolished the encroaching structures to pave way to build service lanes along Tata-Kandra Road.
Baske said the aim of the drive was to remove squatters from those parts where construction work was pending.
He, however, added: “We are also carrying out the eviction drive against those people who have set up shops or residential houses on encroached land. Whether the land belongs to state road construction department or Jharkhand Housing Board, an encroacher must be evicted.”
Once this anti-encroachment drive is over, two more significant obstacles need to be removed. One is the Ghorababa Temple and the other is business establishment Satpathy Building.
Seraikela-Kharsawan district administration had carried out an eviction drive against Satpathy Building a month ago. But, it had to be held up after the owner obtained a stay order from Jharkhand High Court.
As far as the Ghorababa Temple in Gamharia along the Tata-Kandra Road is concerned, Baske said: “Though the district administration has started talks with the temple management committee, no one from their side has agreed to shift the temple. Unless Ghorababa Temple is shifted, the service lane work will not be completed.”
He added Seraikela-Kharsawan deputy commissioner K.N. Jha was personally looking into the matter and trying to strike a deal with Ghorababa Temple Committee.
A key functionary of the temple, Manoranjan Bej, rejected outright any hope of shifting the temple.
He said the administration might forget about the service lane. “We have declared we won’t shift the temple by an inch. The temple is over 250 years old. A large number of people from Gamharia and outside visit it. There are sentiments attached to it,” Bej added.
While the local administration was carrying out the eviction drive along Tata-Kandra Road, a few vendors simultaneously set up their makeshift shops, eating up on road space and causing congestion.
“I sell goods from morning till late in the evening. I have not made any structure on the road, so there is no question of evicting me,” said Md Nazrul.