The Chennai Corporation on Friday removed unauthorised bunk shops in a number of localities.
A crackdown on unauthorised structures by officials of zones such as Royapuram and Madhavaram extended late into the night on Friday. At least seven structures in Royapuram were removed by Friday evening. Removal of more shops is under way.
“The shops hindered pedestrian movement. Garbage clearance is also affected by them. There are many such shops on Pantheon Road, Montieth Road, Ethiraj Road and Gandhi Irwin Road. But it is also a source of livelihood for some poor people,” said Mohammed Imthias, councillor of ward 61.
“In some cases, poor people are used by others. The latter have commissioned hundreds of shops in many roads and collect money from those who run it,” he added.
Chennai Corporation has so far removed 339 unauthorised bunk shops in various parts of the city.
On Thursday, the civic body made a submission before the First Bench of the Madras High Court comprising acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, when a contempt petition filed by K.R. Ramaswamy alias ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy came up.
The petitioner had submitted that illegal bunk shops had not been removed, in violation of a court order.
In a counter-affidavit, Corporation Commissioner Vikram Kapur said the officials had started implementing the order.
Bunk shop owners have been instructed to remove the structures and the Corporation will take action on those who fail to remove encroachments on time.
The civic body has identified 518 such shops in the city. There were court cases with regard to 119 of them. The Corporation will complete the removal of all unauthorised bunk shops in two weeks.
After officials removed bunk shops, owners have started using carts to run the same business in some areas.