| PMC workers remove encroachment on Boring Road in Patna on Friday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday conducted an anti-encroachment drive along the footpaths on Boring Canal Road, which turned out to be ritual of sorts.
While the permanent encroachment in the form of shops extending on the footpath were left untouched, the squatters and vendors fled during the drive and came back soon after the civic team left. As a result, encroachers were seen conducting business as earlier within a couple of hours of the drive.
The lack of seriousness in the drive was evident as only a handful of policemen were seen. Uday Shankar Paswan, a sanitary inspector in the New Capital circle of PMC, said only one team from the local police station was provided for the drive. “We removed a few thelas (carts), stalls and street vendors from the footpath on Boring Road during the drive. Other encroachers had already fled or removed their wares from the footpath and hence we did not take any action against them,” said Paswan.
The Telegraph had highlighted the encroachment menace on Boring Canal Road in its edition dated June 2. The footpath on either side of Boring Road crossing is heavily encroached by different kind of vendors and squatters. Similarly, several eateries near Panchmukhi Mandir have encroached on the footpath by putting up their stoves. Betel and cigarette stalls can also be seen on either side of the pavement along this street.
Apart from Boring Canal Road, another anti-encroachment drive was conducted by PMC at Digha Haat on Thursday. However, that drive also turned out to be a damp squib, as hundreds of vegetable sellers were seen back on the footpath and thoroughfare within a couple of hours after the drive. The Telegraph had highlighted the pedestrian encroachment menace at Digha Haat in its May 31 issue.
Vishal Anand, executive officer, New Capital circle of PMC, claimed that they would hold another drive at Boring Canal Road in a couple of days. “I admit that there were some loopholes in today’s (Friday’s) drive and I would enquire about it with the employees concerned. I would conduct an anti-encroachment drive at Boring Canal Road next week,” said Vishal.
Residents should be ready pay charges for parking their vehicles along the streets in the city as the New Capital circle would start pay-and-park system in the next week.
Patna municipal commissioner Kuldip Narayan on Tuesday issued an order to commence pay-and-park scheme at 51 locations across the city streets with immediate effect. Residents would need to pay Rs 10 for the first hour and Rs 5 every hour thereafter for four-wheeler parking. The charges for two-wheelers are Rs 5 for the first hour and Rs 3 for every hour thereafter.
The parking lots on 17 main streets have already been identified by the PMC but the pay-and-park system could not be executed for the past several months owing to delay in finalisation of bidding for the same. Narayan, in his order, stated that the parking scheme would be executed by the four circles of the PMC till the tenders for the parking lots are not finalised.
Talking about the developments regarding the same, New Capital circle executive officer Vishal Anand said: “Over the past two days, we appointed several parking attendants, who would be deputed at the parking lots on different streets. We are also getting parking tickets printed. We expect to start the pay-and-parking system by Monday.”