The officials of the municipal corporations (MC) seem to least bothered when it comes to removing encroachments at Chaura Bazaar in old city area. The encroachments on both the sides of the road have made it narrower, leaving the area choked mainly in the evening hours.
The civic body has geared up several times to remove the temporary encroachments in the area but the staff members have so far failed to do so.
Not only the shopkeepers, but also the roadside vendors have encroached upon a big portion on the roads. In the past, several showrooms have shifted from the area as the visitors on vehicles, especially four-wheelers, find it a herculean task to enter the market.
Thousands of people visit the area regularly as it is a commercial hub of Ludhiana, which is now slowly losing its sheen due to the encroachments by traders and roadside vendors.
The commuters say they have to follow alternative (long) routes to reach their destination as passing through the choked roads in Chaura Bazar results in the wastage of time. Roads up to three feet on both the sides have been encroached upon. It is said that MC's Tehbazari wing fails to remove encroachments due to political pressure.
Sources say a few shopkeepers charge `500 to `700 a day from the roadside vendors to let them set up their stalls.
Apart from encroachments, the vendors who deal with eatery business leave the roads littered at the end of the day, giving the area a shabby look.
Rohit Sahota, superintendent, Tehbazari wing, MC Zone A, said, "Our team visits Chaura Bazaar on regular basis to inspect violations. We are issuing challans regularly to the violators. I will direct the team once again to take strict action against the encroachers."
Traffic snarls are a common sight due to encroachments.
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gholwaria said, "I have given necessary directions several times but encroachments are still there. We will give time to the shopkeepers and vendors to mend their ways, otherwise strict action will be taken."