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RMC finally removes Lalpur vegetable sellers
After getting strong signals that its orders for eviction are being taken lightly by the Lalpur roadside vegetable sellers, Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Thursday came harsh on them with its enforcement team getting both sides of road from Lalpur Chowk to Kokar distillery bridge including fish market vacated forcefully by afternoon.
Though the enforcement team had to manage few protests peacefully and calmly which helped it avoiding many possible clashes with vegetable and fish sellers, the team comprising at least four Enforcement Officers of civic body managed to get roadside evicted with the help of and local police station officials. The team dismantled few permanent set-ups of fish sellers and warned adamant sellers of stern action if they violated the order of civic body of selling vegetables and fish in the area only during 6-10 O’clock in the morning.
In order to get miserable traffic system of the city back on track after Chief Minister Raghubar Das last week ordered traffic officials and other stakeholders including RMC to do the job at the earliest, the civic body started drive of getting roadside vegetable market in Lalpur from Chowk to distillery bridge on HB Road cleared, which used to create traffic chaos in the area during rush hours. The RMC directed vegetable and fish sellers in area to cut their business hours short and keep it confined during 6-10AM everyday, which the vegetable sellers didn’t lend ears at all even the deadline of their whole-day market ended on Sunday last week.
However, administrators and public representatives appear completely divided with their opinion on the issue, which is only adding fuel to the fire. Municipal Commissioner Shantanu Kumar Agrahari, at one hand, appeared giving no relief to vegetable sellers at all in any case and to force them obey the order. “Something illegal is illegal. I have nothing to do with vegetable sellers’ arguments in the matter. They have been asked to wind-up their business by 10AM everyday, and they will have to follow it. If they don’t, our enforcement team would appear harsher on them in future and I must assure that drive will continue,” said Agrahari.
Despite their differences in views on dozens of occasions in past, Mayor Asha Lakra and Deputy Mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya came together to defend vegetable sellers’ interests in one way or the other. Though Lakra defended enforcement team’s actions, she said that it was all for the well-being and beauty of the city which the vegetable sellers were also a part of.
“Daily Market at Main Road starts around 4 AM and it almost finishes by 8 AM everyday with nothing fresh to purchase after that. Vegetable sellers at Lalpur will have to understand that if they start doing business during permitted hours, they will be flooded with the customers during those hours itself. We see it happening in every other city, and even in case of weekly markets. It is true that those veggie and fish sellers deserve a dedicated market, and it is on cards too. But waiting for that market to come first and then getting replaced is a bad idea as far as other factors like traffic is concerned,” said Lakra. Extending the discussion, Vijayvargiya had little different view. “The vegetable market alongside Lalpur Chowk to Distillery Bridge including fish market is not new. I have tried more than two times through RMC to have a dedicated market for them around Distillery Bridge. But both the efforts were foiled by officials due to one reason or the other. I find merit in vegetable sellers’ arguments of their business getting destroyed if they are allowed to do business only for four hours. Moreover, to start at 6AM in winter is a bad idea,” said he.
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