Chandigarh’s Sector 17 Plaza regains ground and old glory
After multiple protests, approaching politicians and ultimately moving court, traders breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as MC, backed by a heavy posse of cops and enforcement staff, did not let vendors enter the Plaza.Updated: Dec 07, 2019 01:42 IST
It was nothing less than a nightmare for traders at Sector 17, seeing the Plaza slowly turning into a flea market over the years.
After multiple protests, approaching politicians and ultimately moving court, traders breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as MC, backed by a heavy posse of cops and enforcement staff, did not let vendors enter the Plaza.
Special arrangements were made for water cannon and tear gas to deal with any law and order situation. Fortunately, they were not needed as the day remained peaceful.
Being a non-vending zone, Sector 17 has been cleared of all 538 registered vendors, except those selling tea, repairing shoes and offering other essential commodities.
Some vendors, who turned up in the morning, were sent to their allotted vending sites in Sector 15 and other areas.
Going a step further, MC also beautified the area, by placing around 1,000 flower pots. From next month, Chandigarh Smart City Limited plans to run 10 golf carts, free of cost, to help senior citizens and the disabled.
WE GOT OUR PLAZA BACK: SHOPKEEPERS
Normally abuzz with hawkers selling street food, footwear, clothes, posters, jewellery and kids rides, the Plaza only saw walking customers by the time sun set.
“Most of the customers were surprised to see the market all changed on Friday. We got our real Plaza back,” said Parveen Gulati, a shopkeeper.
A visitor, Arvind Nalwa, a retired government employee, said, “The Plaza had lost its glory over the years with vendors and hawkers spread all over. I am happy, it has regained its status as it was 10 years ago,” he said.
However, some complained of not having access to street food anymore. Students Priyanka Jain and Harshita Grover said they were fond of eating momos and other street food served here. “We will miss it,” they said.
ASSOCIATION TO KEEP VIGIL
Neeraj Bajaj, president of the Joint Action Committee of Sector 17 traders, said the Plaza was finally cleared of vendors due to the decisiveness of judiciary and support of MC officials. “While MC maintains vigil, we have also hired private guards to keep an eye on vendors in the market. We will immediately alert police and MC authorities if they try to sneak back in,” he said.