Ambala shopkeepers sit in dharna against eviction orders

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ambala
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2014 20:57 IST

To protest the arbitrary auction of their shops by the Cantonment Board (CB), traders of Bhagat Singh Market and their family members staged a dharna near Indira Chowk on Saturday.

Market association spokesperson Nanak Chand said if the eviction notices were not withdrawn they would start hunger strike from Sunday.

They also raised slogans against CB CEO Shalini Pandey.

Traders Nanak Chand and Ved Goyal have alleged that the CB had allotted them shops on 30 years lease with 5% annual increase in the rent adding that lease period would end by April end but the CB had refused to renew the lease and they have been served the eviction notices.

The traders alleged that even though they continue to be in possession, the CB had started auctioning the shops at an exorbitant rate which was beyond the capacity of the lease holders as the property dealers are participating in the auction.

They said that the shop which was on Rs 2000 p.m. rent has been auctioned for Rs 20,000 adding that they would be ruined if they were evicted after being in business for 30 years.

Shopkeepers have alleged that their pleas that they would be uprooted with this arbitrary decision have no effect on the authorities even though they were prepared to increase the rent.

The protesters argued that earlier also, the lease of some shops had expired in 1999 but the same was renewed after nominal increase adding that the similar analogy should be adopted now.

CB vice-president Virender Gandhi and member Bittu Sahani said the auctions of the shops were being done without the CB resolution which was illegal and all the seven CB civilian members were against this policy.

Sources said MLA Anil Vij had also joined the dharna in support of the traders and had talked to the CEO who reportedly has assured the MLA that the higher authorities were being informed.

Earlier, on April 25, the shopkeepers had blocked the Ambala-Jagadhri road which was lifted after the police intervention.

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