Open House: What more needs to be done to make Chandigarh encroachment-free? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What more needs to be done to make Chandigarh encroachment-free?

Civic body must tighten noose around violators

Open House: What more needs to be done to make Chandigarh encroachment-free?

A file photo of vendors operating from outside Rock Garden, a no-vending zone, in Chandigarh.

No check on migrants arriving in city

Everyday more than 200 migrants land in the city to find some work. They get shelter in colonies or villages near Chandigarh. Till the time migrants get job they start selling daily use commodities on rehris or outside shops in corridors. The Estate Office is blind and deaf as officials don’t take action against such people. Teams should be deployed for regular checking of encroachments in the city.

Sameer Dhawan, Chandigarh

Punishment, hefty fine can control menace

Every time someone raises an issue of encroachments, officials remove vendors and goods kept by traders outside their shops from public places and markets. Such places remain clear for a few days and then vendors are back as usual at same spots doing brisk business while traders encroach corridors in markets. Only punishment, hefty fine and surveillance can prevent encroachments in markets and public places.

Sapna Sharda, Chandigarh

Officials need to work honestly

It is the laxity of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation for failing to keep a check on encroachments in market corridors. Many a times drives have been anti-encroachment drives have been launched and notices issued to shopkeepers and vendors, but of no avail. This loosens the pole of bureaucrats and the Administration’s work culture. Bureaucrats, councillors and officials need to work at the ground level rather than making castles in the air.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Allot suitable spaces to street vendors

We find vendors doing business in Sector 22, 17 and other markets of the UT. This can never happen without the connivance of civic body officials and the Administration. These vendors attract stray animals because they keep waste of fruits and eatables. Vendors sell eatables in almost all sectors of the city. The Administration has to rise to the occasion and allot suitable spaces to these poor vendors so that they can earn their livelihood.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

Maintain cleanliness in City Beautiful

Encroachments by shopkeepers or street vendors on public places will not stop until hefty fines are not imposed on violators. Moreover, traders do not need to occupy spaces outside their shops as it inconveniences customers. Street vendors should be allocated spaces so that they remain in particular zone. We understand that street vendors too have to earn their livelihood, but the City Beautiful has to maintain cleanliness and heritage.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Anti-encroachment drives an eyewash

Encroachments in corridors affects movement of customers, but who is bothered? The enforcement wing of the MC and the police beat staff know about encroachments, but they look the other way. Anti-encroachment drives are just an eyewash. Monthly collections from encroachers are shared and passed on to officials concerned. Total removal/stopping of encroachments in Chandigarh is just a day dream.

SC Luthra, Chandigarh

Enforcement Drives a mere formality

Due to corruption, non-accountability and political interference, traders and vendors encroach public spaces with impunity. Many vendors sell fruits on hand drawn carts along busy roads. Roads get choked due to vendors, but the traffic police never acts against them. Often, encroachers receive advance information about arrival of enforcement staff. Sometimes, few displayed items are confiscated for formality sake. So, enforcement drives have just become rituals. No member of enforcement team should have mobile phone when on duty. They should be deployed in any area of the city on random basis every day from noon to 8 pm.

Kishore Chand Rana, Chandigarh

Civic body authorities fully responsible

The enforcement drives are a mere eyewash. This is a well-oiled mechanism working in active connivance of the MC enforcement staff. Street vendors openly claim that they pay a weekly ‘hafta’ to officials concerned and nobody can remove them from public spaces. Shopkeepers should not display goods beyond two feet of their booths/showrooms. Even vendor free zones of the city like lake, Rock Garden and Sector 17 are encroached upon. This is within the knowledge of the MC authorities, who are fully responsible for this menace.

Ashutosh Vermani, Chandigarh

Invite suggestions from stakeholders

The Administration should analyse the encroachment problem in the UT. Vending zones are not popular as these do not attract customers making it difficult for poor vendors to make both ends meet. Regarding misuse of corridors the Administration should involve office-bearers of market /traders welfare associations. Suggestions can be invited from all stakeholders to solve the encroachment problem in City Beautiful.

SL Soni, Chandigarh

Confiscate all goods kept on public land

Hike in fine for encroachments on public land, including market corridors, can stop the menace in the City Beautiful to some extent. Besides, confiscation of all articles/goods kept on the public land and in corridors can act as deterrent for violators. Shopkeepers do not have any right to use public land for their own selfish motive. Encroachments disrupt traffic movement. The MC should not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings against encroachers.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

MC can exercise more vigilance

Occupation of public spaces by vendors has become a usual phenomenon. Even if vendors are allotted spaces by the MC, they continue to operate from old spots due to ease and benefits of doing business. Thus, it becomes a foremost duty of the MC to be more vigilant to remove illegal occupations and encroachments in the city. The MC authorities can conduct inspections or peruse footage of the CCTVs to check encroachments. The help of the police and councillors can always be sought to check the menace.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Make enforcement officials accountable

Encroachments are at rampant since long in Chandigarh. Street vendors run their business without any fear because they grease palm of enforcement officials. This nexus has to be broken. MC officials should be held accountable for encroachments. Shopkeepers and street vendors, who encroach on the government space must be dealt with strictly. Cleared public spaces must be fenced.

MR Bhateja, Naya Gaon

Put violators behind bars

After so many drives to remove encroachments from corridors, markets and open spaces in City Beautiful, no positive results have been achieved. This shows total failure of the MC and the police in checking the menace in the city. Also this points towards negligence, carelessness and non-seriousness of the MC authorities, which has aggravated the problem. Warning notices should be issued to violators. If vendors and traders continue to encroach public spaces, they should be arrested and their goods confiscated. Hefty fine should be imposed on them.

Sukhwant Bhullar, Chandigarh

Problem worsens in evenings, weekends

The civic body has failed miserably to curb encroachments by vendors on pavements in markets and other public places. This inconveniences shoppers, who have little space to move in markets. The situation gets worse during evenings and on weekends. The MC conducts raids occasionally, but vendors are back on same spaces the next day. Besides, vendors also create nuisance at traffic light points thereby increasing the risk of accidents. A long term plan needs to be put in place to stop this menace. First, identify the black sheep within the Municipal Corporation, take ‘hafta vasooli’ from vendors. Honest officials must keep daily vigil at markets prone to menace. The license of offending vendor should be cancelled immediately. Wherever possible some open space near markets should allocated to vendors. A Smart City needs smart measures to curb encroachments.

Yash Khetarpal, Panchkula

Maintain UT’s status

The Administration and the Municipal Corporation must maintain Chandigarh’s status. The more laws, the more are offenders. All corridors must be vacated by shopkeepers. Public spaces must be free of street vendors. The encroachment staff must do their duties honestly. The MC authorities should take strict disciplinary action against field staff, who do not remove encroachments in markets and public spaces.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali

Conscious efforts needed on MC’s part

Despite repeated action by the authorities, encroachments can be seen in almost every market of Chandigarh. Due to large number of displayed items in corridors of markets, there is hardly any space left to walk. This problem gets worse during festivals. A conscious effort on the part of the Municipal Corporation is needed check encroachments. Officials should keep an eye on shopkeepers. Increasing fine on encroachers can prevent encroachments in the city.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Punishments, fines need of the hour

Encroachment of public places, including parks, market corridors, parking lots and even on spaces under trees is rampant in the city. Migrants set up shanties and shops everywhere while the MC authorities look the other way. One can see idols, photos and candles under trees. Punishment and fines on vendors operating from non designated spaces can prevent encroachments in the City Beautiful.

Bubby Soin, Chandigarh

Start campaign

The Municipal Corporation should start a campaign in which residents can click and upload pictures of encroachments in the city on a dedicated WhatsApp number. Officials concerned must be held responsible for encroachments in their respective areas. Fine should be imposed on violators and their good displayed on public spaces must be seized by the MC. The civic body can allot spaces available in markets to vendors on manageable rent so that they can earn their livelihood. This will also increase MC’s income.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh

Implement Vendors Act strictly in UT

Special drives to remove hawkers, vendors and squatters must be launched by the civic body. Vendors Act should be implemented strictly by the Municipal Corporation and the UT police. There should be no encroachments on walk ways, public spaces and market corridors. In-charge of the area concerned must be held responsible for encroachments.

Anita Tandon, Kharar

Don’t return goods seized from traders

Though the Municipal Corporation has allotted new sites to vendors, they prefer to operate from their old places citing non sale of their goods. Also one wonders how vendors come to know about raids by the enforcement staff. This shows that there is always some communication between vendors and officials concerned. As soon as these vendors see the raiding staff they collect their belongings and run away. When the raiding staff leaves, vendors occupy the same place in no time. The MC must challan shopkeepers, who allow vendors to sit in front of their establishments. Follow the saying ‘Chor nahi chor ki ma ko pakhdo’. Once vendors and shopkeepers are challaned for encroachments, the enforcement staff must not return their confiscated goods.

Savita Kuthiala, Chandigarh

Shopkeepers must cooperate with MC

It’s really astonishing to see businessmen in almost all sector markets of Chandigarh stocking material in corridors in front of their respective shops and creating nuisance for visitors. The MC authorities must initiate a drive against such encroachments. Shopkeepers instead of objecting to it, should cooperate with the MC in clearing corridors. In case of non-compliance of rules the civic body authorities must use force to remove encroachments. Blocking public place will not serve any purpose.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Don’t interfere in MC’s work

It’s pity that the much touted enforcement drives against encroachments have failed to yield desired results in the UT. Various factors have aggravated the issue. A common perception among people is that without political patronisation encroachments at public places is not possible. Encroachments eat up walking space in markets. Besides, connivance of corrupt elements in enforcement team with vendors and shopkeepers cannot be ruled out. First, the nexus between politicians and MC officials has to be broken. Do not allow political interference in MC’s working.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Traders’ participation in drive needed

Regular drives by the MC authorities have failed make Chandigarh encroachment free. Market committees should be formed to help the civic body authorities remove encroachments and ensure no further occupation of public places. Strict vigil and punitive action can reduce the menace, but participation of shopkeepers in drives can permanently remove encroachments in the city. Residents should also cooperate by not purchasing items from vendors or persons, who encroach upon market spaces.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh

Lack of surveillance by civic body

It is disheartening to see encroachments by street vendors and shop owners over the city. It becomes difficult to pass through corridors of sector markets due to encroachments by most traders. This is due to lack of the surveillance by the MC staff. Encroachments at several places are removed only after these are highlighted by media reports, but reappear after sometime. The MC should ensure there is no laxity on part of the staff to keep the city encroachment free.

RPS Chopra, Chandigarh

Install Fence around government land

The encroachment of government land in Chandigarh is an old problem. Mostly, migrant labourers encroach public places for setting up temporary vends. The authorities concerned should be vigilant all the time. The government land should be fenced to prevent encroachments. Further, lower rung officials are bribed to encroach government land. A sincere and concerted effort of the Municipal Corporation can prevent encroachments on government land.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, Chandigarh

Officials must give an undertaking

Contrary to general perception, corridors outside shops, though built by shop owners, are a public thorough fare. Officials concerned should be mandated to give a regular undertaking every month that no encroachments on public land exists in their beat area. Also, it is imperative that such reports are monitored with zero tolerance. The effect of occasional drives by the enforcement wing of the MC wanes away sooner than later. The permanent solution lies in holding the SHOs concerned accountable to make the city areas encroachment free.

Lalit Bhardwaj, Panchkula

Deal strictly with encroachers

There is no denying the fact that anti-encroachment drives have been carried out umpteen times, but to no desirable consequences. There is no stringent law to tame the erring shopkeepers encroaching upon not only corridors, but also parking lots without the scantiest fear of any action by the authorities concerned. Likewise, street vendors too have followed the suit and encroached upon even walking tracks for visitors, making it tough and taxing to move around while they shop. The dispensation needs to shun its lackadaisical stance and take an urgent call on the issue that has been hanging fire for a pretty long time now. The MC must go the hard way to tighten the noose around those jumping the fence. The sham anti-encroachment drives without intent to address the malaise won’t bring any tangible outcome. The award of stricter punishment and hefty fines would go a long way in taming the rot. This is now or never.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Nip the evil in the bud

Broadly, encroachment means to seize on the rights of others without paying anything. This may be government or private premises. Today, generally businessmen, traders, even residential properties are being encroached upon to extend their premises. In the case of government land, normally it is done in connivance with the authorities concerned. It would be better, if the authorities keep an eagle eye, at the initial stage to stop encroachments and to avoid any complications at a later stage.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Install CCTV cameras in all markets

Encroachments are becoming very common in the Chandigarh markets despite regular drives. This is because shopkeepers temporarily remove encroachments during the drive and later, markets are back to square one. The authorities should install CCTV cameras in markets to check encroachments. The footage of these cameras should be regularly monitored. There should be an operational helpline for the people to complain about encroachments. Resident welfare associations should be roped in to check encroachments.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh

Maintain city’s unique character

Chandigarh has a unique character, which must be maintained at all costs. This is the only city, which has well maintained corridors for pedestrians in markets. Despite issuing notices, warnings and strict instructions shopkeepers encroach corridors by displaying their goods and inconvenience public. Whenever any official concerned comes for checking market shopkeepers vacate area in front of their shops. Permanent CCTV cameras must be installed in markets to check encroachments. Heavy penalties and confiscation of goods/material displayed at public places can act as a deterrent. Public must also should cooperate by not purchasing any item from shop, which has encroached corridor.

Sqn Ldr Manjit Johar (retd), Chandigarh


Frequent power outages in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and other parts of Mohali district amid the scorching heat have made life miserable for residents. Power cuts during nights, which have become a routine, have left residents sleep deprived. What steps should the Punjab Government and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited take to provide uninterrupted power supply in Mohali district?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

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