Encroachments in market corridors: Chandigarh MC to report ‘habitual offenders’ to estate office for cancelling ownership
The development comes after the estate office’s communication to the MC, wherein it was clarified that shopkeepers cannot encroach upon verandahsUpdated: Jan 20, 2020 07:02 IST
After street vendors, municipal commissioner KK Yadav is set to crack the whip on shopkeepers who have encroached upon corridors in markets.
The MC plans to report “habitual offenders” to the UT estate office for cancelling their property ownership.
The development comes after the estate office’s communication to the MC, wherein it was clarified that shopkeepers cannot encroach upon verandahs.
The MC chief said this communication makes it clear that verandahs or corridors are meant only for pedestrians. “In wake of this, we have decided that we will refer the cases of habitual offenders for strict action to the estate office. A list is being prepared,” he said.
The MC had sought the UT’s clarification after traders claimed ownership on the verandahs and said that they can keep their goods there. They have even questioned the ₹10,000 fine imposed on traders under the street vending bylaws, claiming that they can’t be compared with vendors as far as encroachments are concerned.
Yadav said the MC is currently imposing ₹2,000 fine for each offence, including ₹500 for handling the material.
“The matter has been referred to the legal department, on whether the MC should impose ₹10,000 fine, as notified in the street vending bylaws, in light of the estate office communication,” he said.
1,500 CHALLANS EVERY MONTH, BUT NO CHANGE
According to the MC enforcement branch, 1,500 challans are issued every month against shopkeepers for encroachments in corridors, but there is hardly any change on the ground.
An official requesting anonymity said that until the MC hikes the fine and passes orders for permanent confiscation of goods, it will be difficult to deter shopkeepers. “Just like we have taken strict action against vendors, we need to act against erring shopkeepers too,” he said.
However Bharatiya Janata Party councillors, who enjoy a majority in the MC House, have backed the traders in the past. They turned down the MC chief’s proposal to hike the penalty on shopkeepers in 2018. When he incorporated heavy fine in street vending bylaws, the provision was not allowed to be implemented as the General House unanimously sought a review of the decision.
Charanjiv Singh, a nominated councillor as well as Chandigarh Beopar Mandal chairman, said the MC should not refer the matter to the estate office, as efforts are already being made to make shopkeepers aware of the need to keep the corridors clear. “Most traders have begun following it. Sector 17 is an apt example, where there is zero encroachment now,” he said.