Numerous petty shops were dismantled and destroyed as the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) carried out an anti-encroachment drive underneath three flyovers on National highway 66 here on Wednesday.

Small eateries, tea joints, and shops selling knick knacks underneath the flyovers at Kuntikana, Kottara Chowki and Kuloor were targeted by MCC officials who came to the scene with bulldozers and police protection.

MCC Revenue Department officials said the stall owners had been informed on Tuesday evening to vacate the premises by Wednesday, failing which they would be forcible evicted. While most had pushed away their carts or removed their petty shops, around eight temporary metal sheds still remained underneath the flyovers.

Among those who saw their shop being forced out was Kavita K., who has subsisted on the meagre wages earned by selling plates of food to shop-keepers and labourers from construction sites at Derebail. “I have nowhere to go now. If I shift to some other place, there isn’t any guarantee that MCC officials will not evict us again. Isn’t it the responsibility of the MCC to find us alternative places to hawk?” she asked, hovering around the Kuntikana flyover where her stall used to be.

Assistant Revenue officer Praveen Chandra Karkera said the action was taken after the Corporation received public complaints that the shops were littering the area and affecting traffic. “We had given them notices a week ago, and officials even visited the shops on Tuesday night warning them of action,” he said.

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