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Lucknow: Clearing encroachments in Aminabad a tough nut to crack

The 200-year-old market is losing sheen because of authorities’ inability to check encroachments and lack of ownership among locals who don’t take pride in having a planned market.

lucknow Updated: Dec 22, 2017 15:31 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow Municipal Corporation,LMC,Aminabad
Street vendors are occupying around 90% of the road in some areas of the market and the situation is such that no one can even think of driving a car through this area during daytime. (Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

Solving the ‘Aminabad puzzle’ is not an easy task unless the stakeholders try their best, feel officials of Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC).

Street vendors are occupying around 90% of the road in some areas of the market and the situation is such that no one can even think of driving a car through this area during daytime.

THE PROBLEMS
  • Corridors are encroached by shopkeepers and roads by street vendors.
  • LMC officials have approached leaders of street vendors and squatters many times, but every time encroachers have declined LMC’s offer to shift them to an alternative place by saying that the place should be “as productive as Aminabad.”
  • However, when Metro construction (East-West Corridor) begins in Aminabad probably in mid 2018, the market will have to be regulated and LMC will have to initiate a dialogue with street vendors.

To solve the problem of encroachment here, LMC officials have approached leaders of street vendors and squatters many times, but every time encroachers have declined LMC’s offer to shift them to an alternative place by saying that the place should be “as productive as Aminabad.”

Street vendors are not ready to move. However, when Metro construction (East-West Corridor) begins in Aminabad probably in mid 2018, the market will have to be regulated and LMC will have to initiate a dialogue with street vendors for regulation of traffic in the chock a block market.

“The LMC tried to regulate the market by drawing a yellow line for street vendors in 2016, but they returned on the road again because of poor monitoring by the police. LMC can only remove the encroachments, it cannot enforce things as this is the job of the police,” said PK Srivastava, additional municipal commissioner.

Suresh Chablani, trader leader of the area, said: “The market is dying a slow death. Upper strata people have stopped visiting the market as they prefer to shop in areas like Ganj, Gomti Nagar and Alambagh where they get good parking facility. Many showroom owners in Aminabad have opened their outlets in Ganj and other areas too as sale in Aminabad market has dropped by 50% during the last five years.”

He said traders have met authorities a number of times to get the area freed from encroachers, but nothing has been done. “These squatters are affecting our business badly. Traders are suffering because of roadside markets,” he added.

HISTORY OF THE AREA

“The name of Aminabad market comes from the name of a minister in the court of Nawab Badshah Amjad Ali Shah (1846). The minister’s name was Emdaad Ali Khan Amin-ud-daula. The Amin-ud-daula Park here is also after his name,” said Yogesh Praveen, historian.

However, the land of Aminabad belonged to Rani Jai Kunwar Pandey who was a good friend of the wife of first Nawab of Oudh, Safdarjung.

The nawab’s wife used to visit Rani Jai Kunwar regularly and stay with her too. For the wife of the nawab, Rani constructed a mosque between 1730-40, which is still there and is known as Padain Ki Masjid. “Encroachers have also defaced the beauty of this heritage building,” said the historian.

Dr Shobha Mishra, head of history department in Navyug Post Graduate Girls’ College, said: “Babu Ganga Prasad Varma came to live in Aminabad in 1910 and designed the market with big corridors so that roads could be used for walking. Ganga Prasad memorial hall was built by him for public functions. He was the one who came up with Goonge Nawab Park.”

But today corridors are encroached by shopkeepers and roads by street vendors. The 200-year-old market is losing sheen because of the inability of authorities to check encroachments and lack of ownership among the locals who don’t take pride in having such a planned market, said Dr Shobha Mishra.

LMC’S PLAN

“To tackle encroachments in Aminabad and maintain its façade and corridors, LMC has called a meeting. We are going to meet traders and street vendors soon with a plan after the work of sanitation mission is over in January. LMC will require support of public, public representatives and government for solving the problems of Aminabad,” said PK Srivastava, additional municipal commissioner.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 15:29 IST