The retail traders complained that outsiders were putting up shops without paying any rent to the Corporation.

A day after members of the retail traders’ association of Central Vegetable Market in Mattuthavani staged a dharna in front of the Corporation office protesting against large-scale encroachments in the market, officials evicted over 200 shops on Friday.

Led by the Chief Town Planning Officer, M. Rakkappan, officials, including Assistant Commissioner, A. Devadoss, raided over 200 shops put up on the pavements, roads and around shops. They seized a truck-load of vegetables, said to be around 5 tonnes, from the squatters. The seized vegetables were given to an orphanage.

The raid started at around 4 a.m. and went on till 6.30 a.m.

The retail traders complained that outsiders were putting up shops without paying any rent to the Corporation. It affected the licensed traders as the squatters ate into their profit.

The Corporation Commissioner, R. Nanthagopal, inspected the market.

The Commissioner asked the officials to immediately seal five illegally constructed shops in the market. He has instructed the officials to demolish such structures, an official said.

Assistant Commissioner, Baskaran, Assistant Executive Engineers, Renganathan, Kuzhaithaivelu and Muthukumar, were among those who were present.

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