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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

No space to walk! Pune municipal corporation seal 17 shops eating into footpaths, roads

Pune Municipal Corporation carried out the operation for the first time despite facing opposition from politicians

pune Updated: Jan 11, 2019 15:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
PMC seized 17 shops at Mahatma Phule Market, Shukrawar Peth in Pune
PMC seized 17 shops at Mahatma Phule Market, Shukrawar Peth in Pune(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), for the first time, has seized 17 shops on the busy Shivaji road for extending their establishments and encroaching the footpaths and road despite being served repeated warnings.

Madhav Jagtap, PMC anti-encroachment department head, said, “The anti-encroachment department of the civic body for the first time has seized these shops for encroachment and blocking the traffic. We were giving these shopkeepers repeated warnings, but every time they took it lightly and occupied the roads and footpaths leaving most pavements out of bounds for pedestrians. Hence, the PMC had to take this step.”

The civic official said that the offending shopkeepers would be unable to carry out the business until the authority takes a decision and the case is placed before the additional municipal commissioner.

According to PMC, these shop owners will need to pay a fine to the civic body and write a letter of undertaking of not extending their shops on the footpath and road.

Meanwhile, sources said that some of the political leaders tried to pressurise the PMC officials for removing the seal and letting the offenders continue running the shops, but the municipal administration remained firm on their stand stating that it would demoralise the civic administration if the action be revoked immediately.

Later, the political leadership also agreed with the municipal administration and stated that shopkeepers should be allowed to resume their business only after the PMC takes necessary action against them.

“The shops that are seized are owned by the PMC and have been rented out. The civic administration will now also check the lease document of these shop owners and if found that the agreement has lapsed, a new process for renting out would be carried out,” Jagtap said.

Residents claim that encroachment by shopkeepers has left it difficult for people to drive and walking. Residents’ associations, citizens and activists have tried to bring the issue to the notice of authorities, but little has been done to rectify the problem, they said.

The extension of shops to footpaths and roads is creating problems for the pedestrians and shoppers and they (pedestrians) had been forced to walk on roads and traffic snarls have become a regular feature in the Mandai areas.

“The footpaths should be got free of encroachments as it had been constructed for the pedestrians and not for vendors and shopkeepers to carry out their businesses,” a resident of the area said.

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 15:22 IST

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