Plastic bags worth Rs. 50,000 seized in another drive.
Corporation officials evicted encroachments put up by around 50 shopkeepers in the Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand here on Tuesday.
Besides warning those shopkeepers who had unilaterally provided second entrance to their shops, they had also been asked to remove stoves and cooking gas cylinders kept in the shops without proper permission from the local body.
During the surprise inspection, Corporation Deputy Commissioner K. Sambhavi found that several shops had spread out their paraphernalia outside their shops. Most of them had kept the showcases used to display their articles and eatables that were protruding into the corridors causing hindrance to movement of people.
Chief Town Planning Officer M. Rakkappan and his men removed those showcases that were wall-mounted, violating the norms. The encroachments were removed in the presence of a police team led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police S. Velladurai.
While some of the traders’ representatives tried to claim that a Corporation official had allowed them to keep their things few feet outside the shop, the Deputy Commissioner said that any such permission that violated the rules was not valid.
The traders also tried to stop the eviction exercise claiming that the High Court had restrained police not to prevent using of cooking gas cylinders, the officials shot back that only the Corporation officials were involved in the eviction.
“We wonder how the shops were using cooking gas cylinders without obtaining Dangerous and Objectionable Trade license from the Corporation. Besides, there was no fire-fighting equipment around the shops where hundreds of people visit everyday,” Ms. Sambhavi said.
The officials have also issued notices to the shopkeepers who had altered the buildings by providing an additional entrance to their shops to restore the structures to their original plan within two days.
Meanwhile, Assistant Health Officer Priyaraj conducted raids on around 30 shops in West Masi Street and near Periyar bus stand for selling and distributing plastic products below 40 micron thickness.
The Corporation, through a resolution passed in the council, has banned sale and usage of plastic cups and carry-bags below 40 microns with effect from September 1 as they were causing pollution. The officials seized banned plastic products worth Rs. 50,000 and levied a fine of Rs. 5,000 on violators. The officials were armed with screw-gauge to measure the thickness of plastic products.
Commercial establishments have been directed not to distribute plastic carry bags beyond 40 microns free of cost. Instead, they should sell them for a prescribed rate as a measure to discourage people from using them. The shops have been asked to put up boards that “no carry bag would be given free of cost.”
The officials have planned to levy fine on individuals also who use carry bags.