Bhopal: The shopkeepers in the markets of old city closed their establishments after mobile court entered Chowk Bazaar and Sarafa Bazaar on Thursday evening.
Chaos prevailed as the city’s two busiest markets became overcrowded after the local shopkeepers began to down shutters and ran outside after seeing mobile court of Bhopal Municipal Corporation led by Rakesh Patidar. Though they tried to run away, most of them were caught and fined. The market falls in municipal ward number 20 and 21.
The two markets are dotted with small shops, many of which are encroachments. The shopkeepers have extended their shops beyond the prescribed limit, which obstruct traffic flow. Corporator of ward number 20 Sanjeev Gupta said that the shopkeepers who are fined have been found guilty of extending their shops beyond their boundaries by using wires. “They hang their belongings on it, which causes inconvenience to locals and passersby including customers,” Gupta said.
The president of Rajdhani Vyapari Sangh Lakherapura Suneel Agrawal said that encroachments can’t be justified and traders have been told that no union will support them if they continue to encroach. “But the way the crack down was carried out too is not justifiable,” he added.
He said that BMC staff troubles small shopkeepers who earn Rs 300 to Rs 400 a day. They are produced before magistrate and fine imposed on them comes to Rs 4,000. “How can they bear the loss? Penalty should be waived off,” he said.
The mobile court recovered Rs 1. 45 lakh after issuing 51 challans while 31 shopkeepers who were found guilty of encroachment were served notice by the court. The shopkeepers were fined between Rs 1500 to Rs 5000.