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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Eviction drive ousts station road squatters

Now passengers headed for Tatanagar railway station can enjoy a smooth ride on Jugsalai-Station Road.

On request from Chakradharpur railway division, the district traffic department on Wednesday carried out an anti-encroachment drive on the stretch of Jugsalai-Station Road from Pradeep Mishra Chowk to the entry gate of the railway station. Makeshift shops and other illegal structures that had come up over the years, leading to traffic congestion and mishaps, were removed.

In the three-hour crackdown that began at 11am, over 50 temporary shops from both sides of the road were removed. They included readymade garment shops, footwear shops and vendors selling vegetables and other products under temporary shelters.

These shops had been hindering movement of vehicles as well as inconveniencing pedestrians. They were also a cause of mishaps.

Equipped with an earthmover and a riot control van, around 50 policemen first asked the encroachers to shift their wares that were eating up the road space. Several vendors gathered their goods shops in tarpaulin and disappeared from the scene.

“The drive was undertaken on the request of the railway authorities. The entire stretch of that important road which leads to the Tatanagar railway station has been made encroachment free. Railways had approached us for removing the encroachments as it causes frequent bottlenecks, inconveniencing passengers headed for the railway,” said Rakesh Kumar Sinha, deputy superintendent of police (traffic), who led the drive.

The railway authorities at Tatanagar have on at least three occasions in the past made attempts to remove the encroachments. The railways wanted the land for its new projects. However, the drives had to be stopped midway due to interference of local political leaders.

In the last week of January, the railways again served a two-day ultimatum to the squatters for removing their wares. But, as they did not obey this time, railways requested the district police to initiate a drive.

Sinha said that it’s now the responsibility of the railway authorities to ensure that the encroachers do not return to the place which they vacated during the drive.