Encroachments near top cop’s house, police post go unnoticed

Adjoining shopkeepers, vendors resent ‘step-motherly treatment’

Encroachments near top cop’s house, police post go unnoticed

There has been no action against encroachments by an eating joint located near Police Commissioner’s residence on Civil Lines Road, that lead to traffic bottlenecks.

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25

While the police have cleared around 40 roads of encroachments raised by roadside vendors and shopkeepers under their drive, they have failed to notice an encroachment near the house of Commissioner of Police (CP) Rakesh Agrawal and another adjoining to the Ghumar Mandi police post.

 A roadside eating point adjoining the Ghumar Mandi police post. Tribune photos

During a survey conducted by The Tribune correspondent on Tuesday evening, violations of the CP’s orders by shopkeepers and roadside vendors were noticed on Haibowal Road and Hambran Road. Two major encroachments were noticed on Civil Lines Road and PAU Road.

The owner of a prominent eating joint situated near Agrawal’s house seems to be least bothered about the directions of the top cop. The eating joint has encroached on the road by placing the cash counter, a rehri of shakes and tables. This is happening every day as a large number of customers visit the restaurant. During the night, traffic near the restaurant almost comes to a standstill, but the police choose to ignore the violation. Earlier, a PCR van was seen removing encroachments on Civil Lines Road, but when the police reached near this restaurant, they just passed by.

“Since the day the Ludhiana police launched their drive, this restaurant ‘Naturals’ shows least regard to the orders. All other adjoining eating joints near this restaurant have put their rehris or tables inside their shops, but ‘Naturals’ continue to show the ‘who cares attitude’. We are wondering why the top cop is showering favour on this restaurant,” said the owner on an adjoining eating joint, requesting anonymity.

This restaurant owner either has some political influence or good connection in the Police Department, alleged a roadside vendor, who was displaced from the Civil Lines Road by the police.

“If the police do not remove encroachments raised by this restaurant, we should also be allowed to place rehris on the road so that our clientele may also not suffer,” said the owner of another eating joint.

Meanwhile, another violation was noticed adjoining the Ghumar Mandi police post where a roadside vendor is running an eatery. The police post almost shares the wall against which this rehri is set up. The police set up nakas near this rehri almost daily. A few days ago, this rehri selling “dosa” was removed by the police, but now, the business is as usual again.

Sources said encroachments had also started coming up in the Model Town market.

The police today shared another update on its Facebook page and Twitter handle where it states: “We have already covered 40 roads under the anti-encroachment drive in Ludhiana, and now, we want to add 20-25 more roads to the drive”.

The roadside vendors association of Ludhiana has been on protest since the day they were removed from roads. Their indefinite dharna is going on at Jagraon Bridge.

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