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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Drive razes illegal shops

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 28: The public works department officials along with police today removed around 150 temporary shops on both sides of the road behind Jayadev Bhavan running parallel to Sachivalaya Marg here.

An official said the road, connecting Old Bus Stand to Keshari Talkies Square behind the Reserve Bank, would be widened to facilitate better traffic movement. The traffic is particularly high during the Assembly sessions when Sachivalaya Marg has to be temporarily closed for security reasons. These shops had been illegally set up and were removed following an eviction notice served to them.

“The police had appealed us to widen the road following which it was decided to evict the encroachers. We will make it four lane, so that vehicles can directly go from Old Town to Keshari Talkies Square and then to Sachivalaya Marg and vice versa,” said Manoranjan Tripathy, executive engineer (Division-I) of the department. A primary estimate of around Rs 4 crore has been made for the project, he said.

“It will reduce traffic congestion and help in smooth communication,” said assistant commissioner of police (traffic) B. Dash.

Three earth-remover machines were on job to demolish the bamboo structures and temporary cabins this morning. Mostly bag and shoe vendors had put up shops along the road.

Sheik Janu from Niali area in Cuttack, who had set up his bag shop on this road for the past 25 years, said that after this drive, he would go back to his village and seek other earning sources.

“The authorities said they would not rehabilitate us. Earlier, they had evicted us several times, but this time it seemed to be final,” said the shopkeeper.

A police officer said that around two platoons of forces had been deployed there anticipating resistance from the vendors. Aseem Panda, inspector in charge of Capital police station, said they had been co-operating with the authorities during the drive.

“Everything went normal without any resistance,” he said.