Mayor takes tough stand on clearing encroachments

Taking a tough stand to clear Chaura Bazaar of encroachments, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria has decided to visit the market personally and tell shopkeepers to remove encroachments on their own.

"I want to make this very clear through the media that now there is no place for any wrongdoing in Ludhiana. I have decided to personally visit Chaura Bazaar and tell the shopkeepers to clear the encroached area on their own. If they fail to do so, I will make sure that strictest action is taken against them and encroachments are cleared at the earliest," Gohalwaria told Ludhiana Newsline.

He added that not only Chaura Bazaar, but under his leadership, "the goal is to clear encroachments in the entire city".

The mayor is scheduled to visit Chaura Bazaar in the next two-three days.

However, in the past, all the attempts of the MC to get the encroachments cleared in Chaura Bazaar have proved futile because of various reasons. "Firstly, there is a lot of political pressure which always cancels encroachment drives in Chaura Bazaar, as it is the prime and oldest encroached area of Ludhiana. Secondly, shopkeepers themselves do not want encroachments to be removed as they get commission from the vendors in front of their shops. Even the shopkeepers have encroached upon the maximum area of the roads at the market," said an employee from the tehbazaari wing of the MC.

As for the shopkeepers of the market, they have made a five-member committee to present their side of the story in front of the mayor.

Kamlesh Bansal, zonal commissioner, zone A, said, "We are just waiting for the representations of the five- member committee formed by the shopkeepers of the area. Once they present their case, we will be taking action accordingly by next week to clear the market."

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