Drawing flak from residents for not taking action against encroachments in Chaura Bazaar and adjoining areas, the municipal corporation of Ludhiana has finally made up its mind to remove them from one of the oldest markets of the city.
Chaura Bazaar in old city is infested with encroachments by carts as well as makeshift arrangements wherein shopkeepers have extended their shops by placing boxes of goods among other items on the road and footpath.
Forget about vehicles, one even finds it difficult to walk the lanes of Chaura Bazaar during afternoon when there is a huge rush of visitors. The area has become congested only because of encroachments.
However, the MC, which had so far not taken any action against encroachments, had made a plan to remove them and work on it would start within a week.
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and commissioner RK Verma were chalking out a strategy as to how encroachments would be removed and in what manner.
The MC faced criticism from residents in the past regarding no action against encroachments in Chaura Bazaar, Sabun Bazaar, Dal Mandi, Chawal Bazaar, Meena Bazaar, Gur Mandi among others where encroachments are rampant. Areas which fall under Zone A are the most visited places as these are the wholesale markets of different products in the city.
The mayor and commissioner in a meeting last week decided that the situation in Chaura Bazaar needed improvement. The MC took the decision after several complaints from the residents.
The MC had been carrying out an anti-encroachment drive in the city for the past two months but had not touched the areas around Chaura Bazaar.
The mayor, who was leading the drive in other localities, had so far remained away from the congested areas in the old city.
Commissioner RK Verma said an action plan had been formulated to remove encroachments in different areas of the city. "One after the other areas for removing encroachments have been marked. Chaura bazaar will also be made free from illegal encroachments," he added.
Kamlesh Bansal, who is the zonal commissioner of zone A, said the entire city would be made free of encroachment. He said encroachment at Chaura bazaar among other areas would also be removed.
Sources in MC said the corporation had given a week's time to the shopkeepers in the area asking them to remove encroachments. "Shopkeepers have formed a five-member committee to discuss with MC the manner in which encroachment can be removed from the areas," the sources added.