In a major eviction drive, Corporation officials on Thursday removed all unauthorised shops and paraphernalia that had encroached upon the public utility space in Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand. The bus stand wears a new look with enough space for passengers to move around.

The drive comes in the wake of Collector U. Sagayam, who is also the Regional Transport Authority, issuing a stern warning to the Corporation officials of cancelling the license to the bus stand if it did not conform to the original plan of the facility. During an inspection on Saturday, the Collector found that many shops had cropped up at all vacant space, including the pathway, the lanes and the passenger waiting halls.

He also found rampant usage of cooking gas cylinders in many shops that did not possess necessary license from the local body.

On Thursday, the Corporation officials, ably assisted by the city police, removed the encroachments. Huge showcases of sweets stalls, furniture, refrigerators and cooking utensils and eatables were removed. “Four truck loads of goods were seized. These goods would not be returned to the shopkeepers,” Corporation Commissioner S. Sebastine said.

The main corridor connecting all the eight bays was now wider. Earlier, the shopkeepers had spread all their paraphernalia not only outside their shops but also beyond the yellow line painted on the pathway thus “unofficially” demarcating the permissible space, a police official said. Many shops had come up on the pathway with shelves fixed on the walls of other shops.

Licence not renewed

In a shocking revelation, an official said that the Corporation has not renewed the license for the bus stand for some years now. The Commissioner said that efforts were being taken to get the license renewed. “It is only paper work,” he said. Mr. Sebastine said that licenses of shops that were illegally using gas cylinders for cooking would be cancelled.

The Collector said that officials would ensure that the passenger waiting halls could be used by the public.

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