Encroachments: Selective removal raises eyebrows

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2014 14:01 IST

The several anti-encroachment drives in Jawahar Nagar by the municipal corporation's tehbazari wing in the past week have drawn flak from local residents and traders.

Locals, including owners of commercial establishments, have accused the MC of pick and chose policy while repeatedly removing encroachments in the area, while totally ignoring major encroachments in other parts of the city.

More than 900 challans have been issued to violators in Jawahar Nagar alone in the past three months.

Shopkeepers and roadside vendors have encroached up to 10 feet area on roads Model Town, Kochar Market, Link Road, Dugri, Field Ganj and other areas, leading to regular traffic snarls.

Even the 108 ambulance staff has repeatedly sought from the MC to remove the encroachments from Field Ganj, as these lead to ambulances getting stuck in traffic jams.

Manvinder Singh, a resident of Model Town, said, "Traffic jams due to encroachments are an everyday scene in Model Town. The shopkeepers have encroached up to 10 feet of roads in several areas. Even several florists have placed their showcases on roads, blocking parking space. Besides, whenever cars come for decoration for weddings, they are parked on the road, leading to traffic jams."

Similarly, shopkeepers have encroached upon roads in Kochhar Market and Dugri Road, but authorities have turned a blind eye to them.

Manmeet Singh, a resident of Dugri, said, "Commuters often get stuck in long traffic jams due to encroachments. The MC should take immediate steps to form vending zones for vendors so that they can continue business without disturbing the traffic. Besides, challans should be issued to shopkeepers who use roads to display their articles."

Meanwhile, a vendor claimed, "Those who pay bribe to MC staff are spared, but carts of others are removed. No action is taken against big shops."

According to sources, MC officials have for long been hand in glove with the encroachers, which leads to inaction against encroachers in other parts of the city.

Earlier, additional commissioner Davinder Singh had assured to take steps to remove encroachments across the city. When contacted, he did not attend the calls.

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