Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 14
Even as the Municipal Corporation (MC) removed unauthorised vendors, a widespread encroachment of corridors outside shops and showrooms continues in the city.
So much so that several eating joints have encroached upon the MC property by putting up tables and chairs. Some of the joints have even put up tables in the parking lots, leaving a little space for motorists. Though by paying a nominal fee, eating joints can put up chairs at some designated areas, it is not allowed in the parking spaces.
It seems the corporation has turned a blind eye to the violation. During a random check, violations were seen in various sectors, including 8, 9, 15, 32, 34, 35, 20, 21 and 26. In Patel Market at Sector 15, several eating joints put up tables on walkways, especially during evenings, causing inconvenience to visitors. In Sector 32, tables were seen placed in parking lots or corridors by some eateries.
MC acts against Act?
One of the major reasons for having no fear of law is that against the bylaws under the Street Vendors Act, shop and showroom owners are being issued a meagre fine of Rs 2,000. The MC is also releasing their seized items on the payment of the fine. However, it is strictly enforcing bylaws in the case of unregistered vendors and charges a hefty fine of Rs 10,000 from them. The goods of the vendors are seized and not returned.
“According to the Act, an encroachment is an encroachment whether it is done by vendors or shopkeepers. Same amount of fine should be imposed on both, only then the challan can act as a deterrent. Some space could be given to them for purposes other than sale of goods,” said Vinod Vashisht, convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO).
“It will serve as a deterrent if shop or showroom owner encroaching on MC land is fined Rs 10,000 and the goods seized are not returned,” added another resident.
Charanjiv Singh, a nominated councillor and chairman of a traders’ body, said, “No shopkeeper should encroach upon space in market corridors and we have been creating awareness about it. However, shopkeepers do not fall under the Street Vendors’ Act. They come under the Shops and Establishment Act. Under this Act, the shopkeeper is challaned Rs 1,500 for the first violation and Rs 2,000 for the second.”
Special Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Jha said, “I will have to check about the amount of fine. However, I have directed the enforcement wing to not spare anyone involved in encroachments, if any.”
16 challans issued
After Chandigarh Tribune called up officials about encroachments, as many as 16 challans were issued to violators late on Tuesday evening. Different enforcement wing teams of the MC conducted inspection in their respective areas. During the anti-encroachment drive, goods, tables and chairs of eating joints were removed from corridors in Sectors 20, 21, 32, 34, 8 and 9.
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