Hawkers were made to shift to shopping complex in November

The T. Nagar Residents Welfare Association has sought the intervention of former Madras High Court judge A. Ramamurthy to ensure their locality is free of footpath shops and unauthorised parking.

The residents took this decision following lack of response from the Chennai Corporation commissioner and the additional commissioner of police (traffic).

Mr. Ramamurthy is also the chairman of the hawking zone implementation committee.

In November, the hawkers on both sides of the flyover on Usman Road were asked to shift to the complex built by the Corporation in Pondy Bazaar. It had been decided by the committee that the space beneath the flyover would be fenced permanently to prevent unauthorised parking and occupation by footpath shops.

Soon after the shops were cleared, the civic body took up work to develop the footpath along Thyagaraya Road into a walker’s zone.

Even as workers cleared the drains of accumulated waste and debris, a few flower vendors, who had been allotted shops in the complex, set up makeshift stalls on the footpath.

On Usman Road, there are now more than 200 shops, though Corporation officials say only around 100 shops, which had sought stay on eviction, are being allowed to function from Bashyam Road.

In Pondy Bazaar, a couple of hawkers selling soft toys have put up stalls along Singaravelan Street, behind the new shopping complex. Half a dozen flower vendors and vegetable sellers hawk their wares from makeshift shops.

When there was no sign of improvement along Usman Road, the residents’ association filed an RTI plea on the unauthorised parking and the Corporation’s plan to fence the space, as instructed by Mr. Ramamurthy.

R. Mohan, who had sought the details on behalf of the association, said, “None of the instructions have been abided by. All we received in answer to the RTI plea was that the information cannot be furnished,” Mr. Mohan said.

The association then approached Mr. Ramamurthy, who wrote to the commissioner and the law officer of Chennai Corporation, the additional commissioner and assistant commissioner of police (traffic), and the counsel for implementation committee, urging them to implement his instructions with immediate effect.

The judge’s written reply to the Corporation commissioner is dated December 31 but the instructions are yet to be implemented.

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