Cuttack, March 21: Police today evicted encroachers from Rehman Chhak at Jobra to Sikharpur railway crossing amid tight security in a bid to execute the municipal corporation's plan to decongest major roads across the city.
“We have launched the eviction drive from today and illegal roadside encroachments that have come up in the busy areas will be demolished,” said corporation secretary Laxmidhar Nath.
He said a detailed plan had been made to carry out similar eviction in other parts of the city in a phased manner. The eviction drive will continue till May.
A civic body official said over 35 temporary kiosks were demolished at Rehman Chhak in Jobra today.
Notably, scrap vendors and heavy vehicle body-cutting units had set up their units along roadside at Jobra. This created problems in smooth flow of traffic. “We have decided to put up boards on evicted lands to prevent them from re-encroachments and the violators will be penalised according to the law,” Nath said.
On the other hand, many local vendors reacted sharply over the drive that was allegedly been launched without prior notice.
“We have been doing business here for the past 40 years. The civic body has not served any notice nor made a public announcement regarding the drive,” said Md Zahir Hussian, a local vendor.
The civic body officials said that no prior notice was served as the eviction plan was placed before the high court for approval yesterday.
“We have already started public announcement in areas where the eviction would be carried out in coming days from today,” said statistical officer of the corporation Pravat Mohapatra.
Earlier, the corporation had carried out an eviction drive in Badambadi area on January.
Though the civic body had planned to evict squatters from other areas, the drive was stopped midway. As a result, encroachers are back on the busy stretch from Badambadi to Link Road.
An official said the eviction plan was delayed as bulk of the police force was diverted for security of players during the conduct of the ICC Women’s World Cup matches at Cuttack last month.
Moreover, the entire eviction programme has been rescheduled and will be carried out at prominent junctions in the city.