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Drive against pavement encroachments continues

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, MAY 20. As part of cleaning the pavements to facilitate free movement of pedestrians, the Chennai Corporation continued removal of pavement encroachments in various parts of the city for the third day today.

The operation was mainly carried out in Perambur and Egmore areas. There was not much activity in many of the zones, except a few places where the eviction was restricted to bunk shops and fruit vendors.

Officials said they would strengthen the supervisory mechanism in all the areas. If the encroachers returned, Corporation staff at ward levels would be held responsible.

The latest move after a gap of about a year was initiated to honour the verdict of the High Court which stated that pavement encroachments ought to be removed in co-operation with all the related Government agencies before June 9.

Though the removal of encroachments has been widely welcomed by pavement users, the vendors expressed their anguish. A vendor in Triplicane said: ``It is my life. I survive on whatever minimal earning I get through selling cigarettes. Why is the Government harassing us when lot of unauthorised constructions are untouched.''

A councillor said there were many attempts to clear encroachments in the last three years. But it was effective since the encroachers managed to come back with the influence of politicians. The vendors should have been identified and given due notice before carrying out the operation. Moreover, steps should be taken to provide the vendors an alternative site, he added.

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