GMC eviction drive frees up encroached Paltan Bazaar land
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has evicted the old wholesale fish market and some houses on KB Road at Paltan Bazaar area.
The eviction drive was carried out on a number of houses and a fish market which have been demolished as it created congestion in the place leading to traffic snarls in the said area. The drive targeted unlawful residents who had returned to the area after a round of eviction which had been carried out earlier. At least 22 illegal structures were demolished after the encroachers returned to the place. Evicted people usually return after a few days to encroach the same areas and this case was no different. Police and officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also assisted the district administration during the eviction drive.
"We will carry out eviction drives along water bodies across the district. During previous evictions, we had dismantled several concrete structures that had been built illegally along these water bodies. Those structures had obstructed the smooth flow of water. But the problem is people keep on encroaching these areas," Angamuthu said.
The district administration had last month issued an order prohibiting street vending activities in that stretch of KB Road and asked local officials to take action against encroachment within seven days. It had said that such activities are causing severe traffic congestion as well as inconvenience to the general public commuting through that road.
There are some habitual offenders who usually hamper the work of the government and it is not necessary that everyone should settle in the city. “It’s not necessary to come and settle in the city by encroaching on government land. It becomes difficult for us to provide land for government offices due to these encroachers who occupy the place. We are continuing the drive and since one and half years the scenario has been changed to some extent and it will be completely different in another one or two years when the encroachers will stop occupying the places,” said an official of GMC.
The eviction drive being carried out at Paltan Bazaar
The authority carried out the eviction but failed to provide space to the vendors. “We have been evicted many times but we have to come back again to the same place as the concerned authority fails to provide us space for running our business. We are feeding our families with this source of income and if the department evicts us then how will we run our families? We have been deprived of a proper vending place for which we have to face loss on many occasions. We also don’t want to face trouble and it is due to our compulsion that we have to put up with such trouble so many times,” said one of the fish vendors.
The Deputy Commissioner M. Angamuthu earlier said that the eviction drive has been taken up to clear all water channels. He pointed out that 50% of water is carried by the Bharalu River. He also highlighted that 366 landslide prone areas have been identified by experts of Assam Engineering College. For ensuring safety of life and property he requested people living in vulnerable landslide prone areas on 19 hillocks of the city to take shelter in the safer places to avoid any untoward incidents during the monsoon period. He also disclosed that no eviction drive will be carried out in these 366 places. He sought active co-operation from the councillors to create awareness among the people. He requested councillors to take active role for a garbage-free city. He also informed that district administration has already directed all commercial establishments to keep trash bins in front of their establishments. He requested councillors to keep strict vigil in this regard in their respective areas.
The administration has also directed the NHAI to ensure that all cattle roaming in and along the NH 37 are collected and handed over to nearby cattle sheds.
The district administration and GMC has carried out eviction drives in various places of the city but the authorities fail to keep the momentum going as the encroachers keep returning. It has become like a game of hide-and-seek with the encroachers always returning to the area from where they were evicted after a certain period of time and one of the main reasons is that they do not get an approved place to run their businesses. This is despite repeated assurances by the department to provide vending zones and their continuous failure to do so.
Eviction drive carried out at KB Road
Number of houses and a fish market have been evicted
The encroachers allege that the concerned authority failed to provide places of business or authorised vending zones
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