The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has stated that it will rehabilitate the owners of motor-repair shops, whose shops were demolished recently near Mansarovar Complex.
BMC commissioner Rajneesh Shrivastava said these mechanics couldn’t be rehabilitated at the same spot where their shops were demolished. “These shops were illegal and as such BMC has the right to remove the encroachments. However ,we will rehabilitate them somewhere else. We have created designated spaces for roadside vendors. We are looking into this issue and trying to find a space for them where they can carry out their business as usual”, he said.
From first week of July BMC began the implementation of Chief Minister’s Welfare Scheme for Urban Street Vendors. Under this scheme, street vendors will be provided places for running their business. Street vendors can carry on their business without impeding the free movement of traffic at the identified places in the city. These designated spaces have been categorised into three zones - green, yellow and red. In yellow zone trading time is fixed, while in the green zone, street vendors do business throughout the day. In red zone, the business is prohibited for vendors. There are 42 green, 33 yellow and 48 red zones in Bhopal.
Arif Rauf, whose shop was also demolished said by demolishing their 37 shops, the authorities have ended the only source of income for nearly 400 of their family members, including school-going children. “We are hoping that BMC rehabilitates us at the earliest so that we can earn livelihood”, he said.
Owners of motor-repair shops had recently sought the intervention of State Human Rights Commission, alleging that their right to life has been violated by the authorities by snatching their only means of livelihood. They claimed that all 37 of them belong to gas victim families and have been carrying out their trade near Mansarovar Complex from early 1990s.
In a memorandum submitted to the state human rights commission, they claimed that by demolishing their 37 shops on October 3, the authorities have ended the only source of income for nearly 400 of their family members. They questioned how they were going to survive in the coming months, adding that most of them have school and college going children, who too were worried over their future.
On October 3, BMC’s antiencroachment team along with the local police demolished 32 motor-repairing shops on Hoshangabad road. The demolition of shops followed urban minister Babulal Gaur’s visit to residence of the deceased Kavita Singh, who was raped and killed. Though shopkeepers claim that 37 shops were demolished, BMC maintains that 32 shops were pulled down.