Bhopal: BMC’s selective anti-encroachment campaign comes under criticism

BHOPAL: Anti-encroachment drive of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is merely limited to the areas of new Bhopal. The municipal administration has turned its back on the encroachments in the old city and is seen patting its back for removing over 200 illegal vendors from MP Nagar and other areas of new city since the launching of the drive 10 days back.

All alacrity, swiftness of the municipal authorities is visible only in new Bhopal and not a single encroachment was cleared from old city.

Targeting BMC for its selective approach towards encroachment, former MLA Surendranath Singh led a protest at Roshanpura square on Thursday. The former legislator demanded the government and the municipal body to ensure that the anti-encroachment drive is directed against law flouters and not against a selected few.

Encroachments on congested roads in old Bhopal area is resulting in traffic snarls and posing huge inconvenience to commuters including pedestrians. At peak hours it becomes difficult to walk on road as vendors, hawkers and illegal parking occupy the major stretch.

However, what is making the administration to turn a blind eye to it is beyond understanding. Seeing, the administration nonchalant, the locals themselves are initiating a drive to remove illegally parked vehicles and unauthorised vendors.

MLA Arif Masood, when contacted assured that encroachment removal drive was currently targeting new Bhopal and soon similar drive will be launched in Old Bhopal.

n Sanjeev Gupta, area corporator, claimed that most of the traders were allotted spaces in a campus developed specially for them, however, they instead are running their business in open areas resulting in congestion on the road.

n Mumtaz Shaqeel, a resident of Itwara says that the makeshift shops remain opened till late night leading to traffic congestion. The vendors illegally occupied spaces on road sides and are running their business all this is reason for heavy encroachment in the area; besides parking of heavy vehicles of transporters is also a big headache.

n Shah Faisal, another resident, rued, the old city areas are often ignored by BMC. Not only unauthorized vendors but also the illegally parked vehicles lead to snarl-ups in the area.

“We ourselves had to get rid of an illegal waste dumping ground at Budhwara-Itwara road and for that we had to stay awake 24 hours as we did not get any assistance from administration,” said Faisal.

n Shiraz Khan, a resident of Budhwara-Itwara road criticized the BMC confining its anti-encroachment drive to new Bhopal. The civic body has failed to remove even a single four-wheeler from our areas, said Khan pointing at a four-wheeler parked illegally in area for over a month.

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