Even a day after the expiry of court’s stay on the order to vacate shopping vends at city bus stand, the owners have still not vacated the shops.
The row over the possession of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Bus Terminal had seemed to be escalated when three shops were sealed following a joint operation by a private company (Welspun Private Ltd), state transport officials’ team (from Chandigarh) and heavy police force on February 10.
At that time those three shops and the remaining managed to take stay order from the court till Tuesday, but the shops are still occupied by them.
Meanwhile, Punjab Roadways top officials have clarified their stand that the final decision on the possession of city bus stand would most likely be taken this Friday.
Punjab Roadways general manager Rashpal Singh Makhu said, “We have given them enough time for vacating the shops. If the company failed to vacate shops, the roadways have an alternative to forfeit the security amount deposited by the company with us (state transport). The final decision is expected to come out on coming Friday prior to which the private company, which held the charge of maintaining city bus stand, will submit its report on action taken in the matter. After which, it will become clear whether the new company will assume the charge of city bus stand (shopping vends) or Punjab Roadways.”
Earlier on February 10, a huge drama was witnessed when shopping vend owners refused to vacate shops after their contract expired on January 17. A heavy police force was pressed into action accompanied by state transport officials’ team from Chandigarh and private company Welspun Private Ltd executive members when police personnel vacated and sealed three shops.
Following this, vend owners and their workers raised slogans against the authorities and alleged that their monthly rent (lease) had been increased (doubled). They rued that they were not served a prior notice to vacate shops.
Currently, of the four holdings — parking lot, shopping vends, bus stand fee and advertisement — three are under the direct control of Punjab Roadways.
Surendar Singh Pannu, manager, operations and maintenance (O and M), Welspun Projects Limited, said, “We along with our legal team will follow the due process while taking possession of the shopping vends, whose court stay has expired. Some vend owners have the stay till March 17.”