Patiala, March 14
Shopkeepers have accused the city Municipal Corporation of targeting traders by issuing challans and sealing buildings despite no violations.
They claimed certain buildings that didn’t have any violations were sealed, while a number of those being built in clear violation of the MC laws were being overlooked by MC officials.
Corporation Commissioner Aaditya Uppal said the MC will act strictly against the violators.
Business owners in the city alleged the MC officials were targeting them on one pretext or the other. The shopkeepers said they were facing issues pertaining to running their shops as MC officials had failed to sanction them building plans for months. “The officials of the building branch deliberately raise questions against legitimate building plans and create trouble,” a shopkeeper said.
The traders claimed certain constructions being carried out with proper building plans are stopped by the officials and often sealed without providing valid reasons for the same. “If there are any violations, such constructions should be stopped in the beginning itself,” a business owner said.
A city-based businessmen said, “There are a number of lapses in the functioning of the civic body. But none of the MC officials is held responsible for these. Instead, only the business owners bear the brunt.”
Rakesh Gupta, president of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said, “Several multi-national companies have been using single-use plastics to sell their products, but only small-time shopkeepers are being issued challans for making use of the banned plastic.”
Members of the mandal said a number of buildings being constructed in the city, including some at Gobind Bagh, were violating building norms, but were being overlooked by the officials. The members demanded an action against the MC officials by the government. They threatened to launch an agitation if appropriate action was not taken against the officials.
The Corporation Commissioner said the MC had become stringent in terms of illegal construction. “We held a cordial discussion with the members of the mandal. We have told them that the Municipal Corporation’s actions are in the larger interest,” he said. Uppal said the MC had already started de-sealing certain buildings after collecting requisite charges from their owners.
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