Panchkula, February 2
Sword of Damocles hangs over more than two dozen illegal shops located on the Panchkula-Zirakpur highway as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has earmarked the area for the widening of the highway.
The NHAI officials have informed the shopkeepers to move out as they would start their operations in the next four to five months. The office-bearers of the market association have now approached Haryana Assembly Speaker and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta, urging him to get land allocated elsewhere at reasonable rates so that they could shift there.
The four-decade-old shops are located near the Old Panchkula T-point. For the past 35 years, the shopkeepers have been facing the threat of demolition.
Earlier, the shopkeepers had made representations before successive governments led by Bhajan Lal, Bansi Lal, Om Prakash Chautala and Bhupinder Singh Hooda for allotment of land before demolishing the shops, but to no avail. Now, the shopkeepers have been holding regular meetings with Gupta in hope of relief.
Ashok Sood, a 58-year-old shopkeeper, said they had been urging the government to relocate them by providing land at reasonable rates or allocate permanent shops before they were removed. “We are willing to pay for the allocated land or shops,” he said. He claimed earlier the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) at its 66th meeting had decided to provide them land in Sector 20 for shops, but it could not materialise.
Sood said a meeting of the association was held today and it was decided to approach the NHAI Director to delay the widening project till they got land elsewhere.
MLA Gupta said they would soon send a proposal to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for relocation of the shopkeepers. If the CM gave his approval, the shopkeepers would be informed, he added.
Shopkeepers seek relocation
- Four-decade-old shops are located on the Panchkula-Zirakpur national highway near the Old Panchkula T-point
- Due to threat of demolition, shopkeepers had urged successive governments for allotment of land, but to no avail
- The Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran had decided to allocate land in Sec 20 for shops, but it could not materialise
- Traders have now approached local MLA Gian Chand Gupta seeking allocation of land or shops elsewhere at reasonable rates
Will send proposal to CM
We will soon send a proposal to CM Manohar Lal Khattar for relocation of shopkeepers. If the CM gives his assent, shopkeepers will be informed. — Gian Chand Gupta, Haryana Speaker & local MLA
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