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Residents question ‘selective’ approach in removing illegal structures

Milk booth removed from shopping complex but eating joint extension in corridor remains

Residents question ‘selective’ approach in removing illegal structures


Tribune News Service

Manmeet Singh Gill

Amritsar, March 21

Even as the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) removed an illegal milk booth installed in the corridor of Nehru Shopping Complex before the inauguration of G20 summit, it overlooked the encroachment upon the corridor made by a restaurant in front of three shops. It took the AIT nearly three weeks even after the Amritsar deputy commissioner had issued instructions in this regard.

Adjacent to the milk booth, a restaurant has encroached upon the entire length of the corridor facing the Mall road. Now closed, the restaurant had used glass and metal structures to enclose the area. The corridor was being used for serving food to the customers.

As the restaurant was closed recently, a famous sweet maker from the city put up a board announcing that a branch of their outlet would be opened at the place shortly.

The residents stated that the administration should not adopt a selective approach when it comes to the removal of illegal encroachments. “The restaurant is adjacent to the booth which was removed. However, even as senior officials visited the place, none of them seemed to have taken notice of the illegal encroachment on the remaining corridor,” lamented a resident Harmeet Singh.

The residents stated that the illegal use of corridors by the shopkeepers in other nearby markets like Lawrence road should also be checked. These corridors were constructed to facilitate the customers and to save them from rain and sun. However, most of these are being used as extensions of the shops. While most shopkeepers display their goods during the day, in case of encroachment at Nehru Shopping Complex, the corridors have been made a permanent part of the restaurant.

Another resident Suresh Kumar suggested, “As the place is closed and the new store has not been opened, the administration should remove the encroachment and make space available for the commuters.” He said illegal encroachments outside the shops are a concern and must be checked. Irregularities by the authorities had rocked the Assembly recently as MLA Dr Jasbir Singh Sandhu had raised the issue and requested the government to direct the authorities to take action.

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