Encroachments on either side of Bharathi Salai (Pycrofts Road), Triplicane High Road and Jam Bazaar were removed on Saturday jointly by the Traffic Police and the Chennai Corporation.
“These roads have small shops and in most cases, the shops extend to the footpath, thus forcing pedestrians to walk on the narrow roads. In instances where two-wheelers are parked beside shops, even customers have to stand on the road to buy things,” said inspector B. Purushothaman, D1, Traffic Police Station, Triplicane.
Awnings and sun shades too were removed as part of the drive in which 15 policemen and 10 corporation employees took part. Shops that had encroached upon the platform space lost their wares and property such as wooden benches, crates and gunny bags. These include provision stores, shoe shops, bag shops and those selling ‘naattu marundhu’.
“We carry out such drives on a regular basis as a deterrent to shopkeepers. They have to understand that pedestrians too need space to walk safely,” he added. Encroachments from the sides of about a kilometre of road were removed in the operation, said traffic sub inspectors G. Rajendran and K. Murugesan. Two wheelers that were parked in No Parking Zones were also towed away by the police.
Shopkeepers however complained that they were not given any prior notice. “We have lost our goods. They could have asked us to remove the things voluntarily,” said a shop owner, who did not want to be named.