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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Temporary encroachments choke city areas as MC grapples with staff shortage

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, April 19, 2013
First Published: 19:52 IST(19/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:53 IST(19/4/2013)

Temporary encroachments are on the rise in the city, while the municipal corporation grapples with the shortage of staff to tackle the issue. The most ubiquitous temporary encroachments are pushcarts (rehris), whose number is rising rapidly with little check on the part of the civic body authorities. Residents allege that some of the civic body officials were hand-in-glove with the encroachers.

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However, the civic body officials claim they were doing enough to clear the city of temporary encroachments.

Sources said there were nearly 1.20 lakh registered pushcarts in the city, while the number of unregistered ones was much more. The areas where 'rehris' have become a menace are the vicinity of the Golden Temple, Court Road, Majitha Road, Putlighar etc.

The ineffectiveness of the civic body is evident when one visits the market near the Town Hall that houses the MC's offices. This 30-foot wide road has been reduced to half due to encroachments on both sides.

Surinder Singh, assistant commissioner, MC, said that MC was doing its best using the resources at its disposal to deal with the temporary encroachments in the city. “We conduct a special campaign each Thursday in which temporary encroachments are removed from five wards of the city, but we have our own limitations and shortage of staff is one of them,” he said.

He said the civic body had limited number of staff and vehicles and do hire people on contract basis, but there was need for more regular staff in the wake of ever increasing boundaries of the city.

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