A team of officials from Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Sunday brought down temporary roof sheds that were erected without permission on a private plot and part of a reserved plot of the SMC in Limbayat area of Surat city by goat traders from Rajasthan and Maharashtra after receiving a complaint from a local BJP corporator. Following the demolition, the traders shifted their goats, numbering over 4,000, under a flyover in the city. The traders had erected the structure to sell goats ahead of Bakri-Id festival.
For the past six to seven years, goat traders have been selling livestock in the area ahead of Bakr-Id. Accordingly, this year too, the traders had erected temporary tents at an open plot of Omnagar Society and a part of SMC’s reserved plot in Dumbhal area.
Sources siad that BJP corporator Vijay Chaumal had raised the issue with Municipal Commissioner M Thennarasan and objected to the “illegal structures” at SMC reserved plot by goat traders. Sources said that Chaumal got support from BJP MLA Sangeeta Patil and BJP MP C R Patil.
On Sunday morning, over hundred SMC officials, headed by Limbayat zone chief Bhairav Desai, along with hundreds of policemen reached the spot and started removing the structures amid rain. As angry traders entered into a heated argument with SMC and police officials, Congress corporator from neighbouring ward, Aslam Cyclewala, intervened and requested the officials to give an alternate space to the traders to keep their goats. Eventually, the SMC officials agreed to allow the traders to keep their goats under the Anjana Bhatena flyover bridge.
“We have razed the illegal structures erected by the traders. The entire process was done peacefully and no untoward incident took place. The police did not use any force. There was complaint against the structure and as per the rules, the traders have to obtain permission from health department, and from other departments of SMC, to construct roofshed. We had issued them notices twice to remove the illegal structures, but they did not respond,” Limbayat Zone Chief of SMC, Bhariav Desai, said.
Cyclewala alleged, “The SMC officials were under immense pressure of BJP leaders and acted on their instructions. In earlier meeting with SMC officials, we had told them that the structure is a temporary one and will be brought down after Bakri Eid.”