Monday, 30th October 2017

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Small fries feel the heat

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  • Published 29.03.07

Ranchi, March 29: Dinesh Sahu, a vendor selling plastic toys, was an unhappy man today as he could not earn a single penny to feed his seven-member family.

The man, who used to earn Rs 100 per day, remained busy shifting his makeshift toyshop from a corner near the Ranchi Women’s College Science block.

However, Sahu was not alone.

There were many vendors like him, who remained busy throughout the day today with the beginning of the anti-encroachment drive after a gap of about five months. Last time, it was carried out in October.

The district administration hit a soft target today during the daylong anti-encroachment drive carried out in various parts of the city following a Jharkhand High Court directive.

Over 100 illegal constructions were demolished under the drive and most of the people affected were makeshift shop owners and roadside food stalls.

The drive was carried out on the either sides of Circular Road under Lalpur police station and a few parts in Chutia under Chutia police station.

However, there was no information of any damage to any big establishment during the drive.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, a youth who earn to run his six-member family by selling exercise books and pens, said the drive came as a curse for poor like him.

“We are not encroachers. We just put up our stalls beside the road during the college hour to sell stationary items to the students. We are poor and by selling these items, we earn a square meal for our families. We are stealing money or doing anything wrong. Despite this, district administration target us during the anti-encroachment drive,” he said.

When asked, subdivisional officer Deepankar Panda said the drive was being carried out on the directive of the Jharkhand High Court. The drive, Panda said, would continue for some more days.

“It is not that we target poor people, we look for encroachers and in this phase, only makeshift stall owners encroached illegally. We have demarcated 12 areas and have deputed 12 teams under the leadership of a magistrate for carrying out the work. We have checked it properly, no big establishment falls under the encroached area,” he said.

District public relation officer Mukula Lakra said the drive would continue till April 6. “We have prepared a schedule for it,” he said.

Encroachment has always been a matter of concern for the district administration. It is a nightmare for both pedestrians and drivers, he added.