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Encroachments choke market area
- Traders and local residents blame unauthorised constructions for mess

Bhubaneswar, April 26: Traders operating from the Indradhanu Market in the capital and people living nearby resent the official apathy to encroachment problems in the area. Unauthorised constructions around the market have spiralled the situation out of control.

At present, almost the entire area around the market has been encroached upon. While the problem is widespread along the road in front of the Jupitor Science College, the space near the vegetable market has also become the target of encroachers.

Members of Indradhanu Market Business Development Association (IMBDA) said: “We have met officials of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the mayor. Even in the past a joint team of the two organisations had conducted a baseline survey to remove encroachment, but nothing materialised.’’

The traders, original allottees of houses and shops in the market complex, got their houses in 1991 from BDA. There were 600 residential houses, shop-cum-residences and pindis or small kiosks. But later there was an increase in the number of vendors and now the market has grown on all sides thereby shrinking the parking space.

“The exceptional rise in number of vendors and the encroachments have resulted in scarcity of parking space which is leading to theft of two-wheelers frequently,” said Pradeep Kumar Sahoo, secretary of the association.

Local councillor Subhranshu Patnaik admitted that the issue has become a major cause of embarrassment for the civic authorities as the eviction is to be carried out by the city management group (CMG) including representatives from BMC, BDA, and general administration department and city police.

“But there should be a time limit so that things can be done in a proper manner according to the people’s expectations,” he added.

With unauthorised constructions increasing around the market, the ambience is not encouraging for outsiders and local residents. The market-goers also complain about lack of streetlights in the area.

Another office-bearer of the IMBDA said on condition of anonymity: “The market badly needs reorganisation of the parking lots and the vending zones. The civic authorities in coordination with the traders must take up the matter in consultation with the local councillor.”

People starting from CRP Square to Jayadev Vihar area depend on the market, which is humming with activity throughout the day. However, without care the 20-year-old market still looks like a suburban trading zone. “As the profile of the area around Jayadev Vihar has changed, the market too needs to undergo some necessary changes,” said the officer bearer.

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