Bhopal: Traders keep shutters down to protest crackdown against encroachments

Bhopal: The recent crackdown of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the encroachments at New Market area has gone down well with the traders and shopkeepers. The New Market Traders Association on Friday observed a bandh and pull down their shutters to protest against action of the civic body. The shopkeepers, after few hours, called off bandh and returned to their work on assurance of Mayor Alok Sharma.

During the anti-encroachment drive, the Mayor himself had reached the New Market area and roped in JCB machines to remove illegal construction and encroachment there. The traders association decided to observe a bandh to protest against the manner in which the drive was undertaken. They were peeved at the authorities as municipal authorities without giving them any notice had undertaken the drive. However, on getting assurance by the mayor and civic officials, they agreed to open their establishments.

The shopkeepers who suffered loss during the BMC’s drive, on the condition of anonymity said that the damage has already been done. “I had extended my shed to protect my products from rains but they razed it. I would have removed it myself after the rains but they bulldozed it,” he said.

The president of the new market traders union Satish Kumar Ganrade said that they have spoken to the Mayor and other authorities over the issue. The action was taken without any intimation, and our fellow shopkeepers had to suffer loss, their property and products were damaged. Had they informed us, we would have set the things aright. Anyways, they have heard our plea and we will also ensure that no such issue arises in the future, he added.

Similar views were shared by secretary of the union Sanjay Valecha who said that the shopkeepers in the market are law abiding and would never do anything against rules. The corporation should have thought of at least once before razing down the structures from one of the premier markets of the city, he added.

The new market is not the only place where the encroachment is an issue that bothers customers and authorities alike but there are many prominent markets which are suffering from this problem.

10-number market, Manisha market, Nehru Nagar area and many other areas and markets are ailing due to encroachment. The areas in Old city are worst affected in the terms of encroachment.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal