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Kiosks razed for parking lots

Berhampur, Dec. 18: Twenty-one kiosks were demolished at Old Bus Stand here today to make way for a multi-storey parking lot and a night shelter for beggars and elderly people.

The move of the civic body, however, has rendered many shopkeepers jobless.

“I am a physically-challenged person and the only earning member of my family. My shop was demolished by the civic body. I don’t know what will happen to my family now,” said Arun Patra, 30, a pan shop owner. Arun, a cerebral palsy patient, can barely stand on his legs.

“My family stays in a rented house at Badasahi in Khodasingi. I don’t know how I will pay my house rent next month,” he said.

Ashok Adhikari, 52, who had a bookshop at the Old Bus Stand, is also worried.

“My two daughters are studying in Plus Two. The shop was the only source of my income. I don’t know how I will continue my daughters’ studies now,” said Ashok. His father had opened the kiosk about 45 years ago.

Bhagaban Panigrahi, 36, whose teashop at the Old Bus Stand was demolished by the civic body is also worried over the future of his family.

“We used to pay tax to the civic body for these shops. But, they demolished our shops just following an announcement. They should immediately consider rehabilitating us properly,” Bhagaban said.

“We have decided to construct a night shelter for the beggars and the elderly people in the proposed complex,” Sangram Panda, an assistant commissioner of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation, said.

He assured that the shopkeepers, whose cabins and kiosks were removed, would be rehabilitated.