A petition was submitted recently to the Chennai Corporation Commissioner on behalf of residents of Mangesh Street, Rangan Street and Ramanathan Street, T. Nagar, to evict encroaching hawkers, and eliminate the practice of parking vehicles and dumping waste, to ensure a smooth movement along the streets.

In July 2008, on behalf of the residents of three streets in T. Nagar, R. Ramani of Mangesh Street Residents’ Welfare Association, R. Mohan of Rangan Street, and A. R. Rajagopalan of Ramanathan Street filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court praying a directive to the authorities concerned to remove the encroachments, and obstructions on the streets.

When the matter came up for hearing, the High Court directed the Chennai Corporation to file an affidavit on whether the hawkers could be moved underneath the Usman Road flyover.

On July 30, 2008, the Chennai Corporation gave an undertaking to a Division Bench of the Madras High Court in an affidavit that it would earmark a place for the hawkers, till the completion of a proposed five-floor market complex on the Corporation land in Pondy Bazaar.

However, in spite of the undertaking, the hawkers are still at it. They have not been relocated, though the Corporation had given an undertaking in the affidavit, the petition stated.

Under these circumstances, the residents will initiate contempt proceedings against the Corporation in the Madras High Court, the petition added. Repeated calls to the authorities concerned in this regard have evoked no response.

Hawkers complex at Pondy Bazaar

Meanwhile, the Pondy Bazaar hawkers complex, constructed by the Chennai Corporation, located behind the flower shops, is getting ready to accommodate the street hawkers on Usman Road, and traders in Pondy Bazaar.

More than 600 hawkers and traders will be accommodated, once it gets ready.

Plans were on to inaugurate the complex on August 15, but hawkers and traders have requested more time to move into the complex.

Traders and hawkers say it would be very difficult for them to sell their wares in the congested building. Our business is likely to get affected, they added.

The hawkers complex in Pondy Bazaar came up following a committee headed by retired judge, J. Kanakaraj in 2003, who presented a plan to the Madras High Court to regulate hawking.

The plan directed the Chennai Corporation to build shopping complexes for hawkers on alternative sites, and issue identity cards, traders said.

As far as the traders on Mangesh Street, Rangan Street and Ramanathan Street, T. Nagar, are concerned, it is up to Chennai Corporation to relocate them. They should also be given an alternative site to sell their wares, traders said.

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