In a major crackdown on Friday, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) confiscated goods placed on the walkway outside 200 shops in Sector 40 and 31. The civic body also issued a warning against encroachment to shopkeepers in other Huda markets.
Nearly 300 shops are located at the two markets that had been developed 20 years ago. As per the law, Sections 18 and 55 of the Huda Act (1979) prohibits use of corridors and open spaces in a marketplace for purposes other than public utility.
After repeated complaints by locals and regular shoppers, the Huda had sent notices to the shop owners five days before the drive asking them to remove goods from the corridors and open spaces but the shopkeepers did not pay heed.
"Most corridors had been occupied by shopkeepers to display items leaving little space for shoppers," said Ram Sarup, president of residents' welfare association (RWA), Sector 40.
As per orders from Huda administrator Praveen Kumar, the enforcement wing confiscates all items lying in the main corridor and courtyard.
"We confiscated cartons, vegetable baskets, trolleys, clothes, besides valuables such as refrigerators and TV sets. The shop owners protested the move but the police presence ensured they could not disturb the drive," said SK Rana, sub divisional engineer (SDE), HUDA.
Though the Act does not define the penalty amount, the administrator can impose a fine of up to R1,000 in lieu of the confiscated items.
"We have warned all shopkeepers in Huda sectors to keep public spaces free for shoppers, else they may face sealing too," Kumar said.
Earlier, the civic body had launched a similar crackdown in Sector 14, 15, 9, 10 and 23.