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Axe on limit-less trade

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 11: Traders in Bapuji Nagar are stepping out of their limits, and the municipal bosses plan to take strict action.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take action against traders in Bapuji Nagar for violating their shop limits and displaying items in parking areas as well as on pavements.

Parking spaces in Bapuji Nagar are blocked by display items such as televisions, refrigerators, air-conditioners and various kinds of furniture, thereby forcing residents to park their vehicles on adjoining roads.

The pick-up vehicles that carry these goods to the shops have been blocking the footpath on the Bapuji Nagar-Sishu Bhavan Road.

Municipal commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra told The Telegraph: “The traders are given space according to their requirements and if they can pack the items after evening it means that there is enough space inside. By encroaching on parking areas, they are creating problems for others.”

He said blocking parking space, roads or footpaths was a serious offence under the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, and traders could face strict action from the licensing section for this. “The officials concerned have been told to take stock of the situation and make a list of the traders who are flouting norms.”

Once the list is ready, a squad will be sent and the goods seized, said a BMC official.

Bijay Mishra, a city resident, said: “I have been facing this problem for years. Initially, I thought that these traders were permitted by the civic authorities to use the space, but it turns out they do it illegally. The civic authorities should take action against them.”

Officer in-charge of the BMC licensing section Srimanta Mishra said the commissioner had asked him to conduct a survey of Bapuji Nagar where in various areas, traders have encroached upon space meant for parking and footpaths to display their goods.

“We are planning to serve notices on them and action will be taken after Makar Sankranti and Pongal,” Mishra said.

Bapuji Nagar is the biggest market in the city for electrical and electronic goods. It also has many leading stores selling furniture of national brands and local manufacturing units.

At the nearby Unit-I Market too, about half the adjoining road between Rajmahal Square and AG Square is blocked by vehicles. The market hardly has any space for parking.

Authorities feel that things need to improve immediately for the parking problem to be solved. “Bhubaneswar is growing and ample parking spaces are a must,” said an official.