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Friday, February 21, 2020

Tension during Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s drive to remove encroachments

Traders have opposed the move contending that it would be detrimental to their business as the barricades would reduce the space near their shops and cause inconvenience to the customers.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: February 13, 2020 8:08:42 am
Tension during Vadodara Municipal Corporation's drive to remove encroachments Vadodara Municipal Corporation Standing Committee chairman Satish Patel at Mangal Bazaar in Vadodara on Wednesday. Bhupendra Rana

Traders in Vadodara’s busy Mangal Bazaar area sat in protest on the second consecutive day on Wednesday, against the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) which is installing barricades along the street in order to evict vendors from the area.

Traders have opposed the move contending that it would be detrimental to their business as the barricades would reduce the space near their shops and cause inconvenience to the customers. They removed the railings on Tuesday. VMC Standing Committee Chairman Satish Patel had arrived to supervise the work in person and install the railings amid the protest.

The civic body which conducted several drives in the past and was unsuccessful in removing street vendors, has now decided to install permanent railings to prevent the market’s walkway from turning into business space for the vendors. The shop owners in the area, however, are protesting with banners and slogans citing that the railings have reduced the space outside their shops.

On Tuesday, when Patel arrived at the spot to supervise the work, Congress corporators also reached the spot and joined the protesting traders to question the VMC which continued to install the rails. The Mangal Bazaar area, from Lehripura gate to Pratap cinema, is a busy road which witnesses traffic snarls everyday. The VMC has stated that it is attempting to de-congest the area by removing the street vendors. Meanwhile, Congress contended that the VMC has been arbitrarily targeting poor vendors in absence of a street vendors’ policy.

Meanwhile, the anti-encroachment department of the VMC also began a demolition drive amid strict police deployment in the Navayard area for road-widening. The area predominantly occupied by the minorities, is also seen as a sensitive zone for demolitions. The civic body is razing about 55 structures that fall in the line of the proposed road-widening.

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