Ujjain : Officials of the Ujjain Municipal Corporation ( UMC) carried out an anti- encroachment drive in Gopal Mandir area on Friday.

Heated arguments and scuffles were witnessed between florists and the Municipal Corporation officials during the drive.

The team, led by deputy commisioner RS Mandloi, lifted several carts and goods displayed outside shops in the area. The area has become a major bottleneck for the commuters owing to the presence of hundreds of hawkers selling garlands, puja items, fruits and other household items on either sides of the road.

The officials seised articles and goods of street vendors. With the festival season at its peak, almost all markets are flooded with new and fancy items for Karva Chauth, Ashtmi and Diwali, etc.

To attract customers, shopkeepers in major markets have displayed their goods on the footpaths and roads, making it difficult for residents to move and shop around conveniently.

The shopkeepers at many markets, including Gopal Mandir, Nai Sadak, Satigate, Malipura and Freeganj have displayed their goods on tables kept outside their shops. Giving two hoots to the inconvenience caused to the general public and violation of the traffic rules, they have encroached on the roads. In the special drive initiated by the UMC they confiscated goods from the Harifatak Over- bridge and Gadhapuliya.

However, within a few hours, the encroachments surfaced again. Keeping the festival season in mind, the UMC, Police Department and the District Administration can make an appeal to the residents to obey the traffic rules and not to keep their stocks on the footpaths and corridors.

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