Police crackdown on hawkers on government land after being pulled up by WB CM | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Police crackdown on hawkers on government land after being pulled up by WB CM

Jun 25, 2024 07:12 PM IST

The West Bengal police launched a drive in multiple towns and cities including Kolkata to free footpaths and evict other illegal occupants from government land

A day after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee pulled up ministers, bureaucrats and police over encroachment on government land, police on Tuesday launched a drive in multiple towns and cities including Kolkata to free footpaths and evict other illegal occupants from government land.

Police asked hawkers, who had set up makeshift stalls encroaching footpaths, to dismantle their stalls. (Representative Image)
Police asked hawkers, who had set up makeshift stalls encroaching footpaths, to dismantle their stalls. (Representative Image)

In Kolkata, officials from local police stations could be seen making rounds in several pockets such as Gariahat, Hatibagan and Bhowanipore asking hawkers, who had set up makeshift stalls encroaching footpaths, to dismantle their stalls.

Similar scenes were also witnessed in Salt Lake where the Bidhannagar Police could be seen dismantling some stalls.

“A group has formed with police, officials and all which is helping in encroachments whenever they spot a vacant plot,” Banerjee had said at an administrative meeting at the state secretariat on Monday.

She cited places such as Salt Lake, Gariahat, Hatibagan where there has been massive encroachment of footpaths by hawkers. She even showed pictures of encroachments outside government offices in Salt Lake while pulling up the minister and the local legislator.

While Gariahat and Hatibagan are shopping hubs in Kolkata, Salt Lake is the state’s IT hub.

“We are not allowing any encroachment on the footpaths of the city. First, we are asking them to remove their makeshift structures. If they don’t, the administration will dismantle them,” a senior officer of the Kolkata Police said.

At Shalimar in Howrah, the district police evacuated a government land where illegal car parking had come up.

“We have been holding such drives asking hawkers not to encroach footpaths. They dismantle the shades for a few days only to come back a few days later. Today we have given them the last warning failing which their items would be seized,” Papiya Singh, councillor of Ward 71, told reporters.

In Cooch Behar town in north Bengal, earth movers were deployed to bring down illegal structures outside government offices.

“Where are we to go? Suddenly if the government decides to evict us what can we do?” Yadavchandra Das, a hawker in Kolkata’s Bhowanipore area, said.

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