About 11 roadside shops, all encroachments, occupying vantage space for several years in the City’s prime commercial area on the Nandhi Kovil Street, were removed by the Tiruchi Corporation amidst tight security here on Wednesday.

Sources in the civic body said that some of the shopkeepers have been occupying the public space, along the famous Teppakulam of the Rockfort Thayumanaswamy Temple, for nearly three decades and efforts at evicting them down they years have failed. A High Court directive to evict the encroachments issued a few years back was also pending execution, official sources said.

On Wednesday, a team of Corporation officials under the supervision of Executive Engineer S.Arunachalam and Assistant Executive Engineer N.Balaguranathan descended on the scene to remove the shops using men and machines. The shops removed included nine fruit stalls, a tea shop and a roadside garment vendor.

The move comes after a recent decision of the Corporation to do away with a parking lot along the Nandhi Kovil Street, following public representations stating that the parking of vehicles were hindering traffic movement.

There have been persistent demands from civic and consumer organisations for removing the shops located towards the end of the Nandhi Kovil Road-NSB Road junction. “This has been our long felt need and we congratulate the Corporation authorities for removing the encroachments now,” observed S.Pushpavanam, Secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu. The Corporation should continue the drive and remove all encroachments in other parts of the City, he said.