| Development authorities and police personnel carry out an eviction drive to remove encroachment along the main road between CRP Square and Stewart School in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Aug. 6: Unauthorised shops on both sides of the roads connecting CRP Square with Bahai House and Stewart School Square to Delta Square were demolished today.
However, the vending zone that has come up illegally between CRP Square and Bahai House could not be demolished because of protests from vendors and non-availability of adequate police forces.
The eviction team comprising officials of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), general administration department and police managed to remove encroachments from the stretch between Delta Square and Stewart School Square.
This stretch was dotted with a large number of temporary shops. Over 70 such shops, which were creating heavy traffic congestion on the road during peak office and school hours, were razed.
Officials of the BDA said that the police commissioner, along with officials of other agencies, carried out a survey on July 19 to find out reasons for traffic chaos between CRP Square and Stewart School and from Delta Square to Stewart School.
After the survey, it was decided to demolish the illegal shops to ensure smooth traffic flow, said BDA’s enforcement officer Deba Prasad Dash.
Along with the 1.5km Delta Square to Stewart School stretch, the eviction drive was also undertaken inside the colony area in Unit-VIII, where illegal houses were demolished despite protests.
Besides, the authorities also evicted illegal encroachments on Priyadarshini market complex at CRP Square. The officials said that over 100 structures were razed at different places, including a few permanent concrete ones and religious establishments.
However, when the team reached the vending zone that was under scanner of the eviction squad, people started to protest. The officials could not move ahead as the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) was busy elsewhere and there were less cops to quell the protest. Though illegal, BMC officials said that the shops had been painted green to give it the look of a corporation allotted vending zone.
“This vending zone is illegal and had been demolished twice in the past. But people managed to rebuild the structures. We will demolish these shops, as we have got complaints of traffic jam and police have given reports regarding this,” said Sumita Behera, assistant commissioner (recovery). Explaining his absence, ACP Nimai Charan Sethi said that as he was busy to manage a law and order situation at Utkal University, he was unable to be present during the entire drive period. But he assured his presence with adequate force when the drive resumes.
Officials of the BDA said that they would return to resume the drive and demolish illegally built shops that create traffic jam on the stretch.
Commuters, who use the stretch, welcomed the move.
“Though the road had been widened, vendors encroached on it and this led to heavy traffic jam, particularly during during peak hours,” said commuter Soumya Kanta Panda.