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40 petty shops demolished

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EVICTION: The demolition squad of Mangalore City Corporation carrying out a drive against petty shops on Wednesday.
EVICTION: The demolition squad of Mangalore City Corporation carrying out a drive against petty shops on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

People oppose action; Mayor has an altercation with commissioner

MANGALORE: The demolition squad of the Mangalore City Corporation on Wednesday removed nearly 40 shops in the State Bank and central fish market areas in a drive that lasted two hours.

Even as the drive was on, local people gathered in large numbers and opposed the action. But the demolition squad, with police protection, carried it out smoothly.

Mayor K. Ashraf, who arrived on the spot, tried to persuade the corporation Commissioner P. Chandrappa to stop the drive. There was a heated exchange of words between Mr. Ashraf and Mr. Chandrappa.

According to sources, the drive will be taken up in different areas, including Lady Goshen Hospital premises, Central Market, Hampankatta, Kadri, Urva and Mallikatta.

The corporation council has been debating the issue for the last three years and also carried out drives in places where pedestrian and traffic movement were severely obstructed.

Despite the demand from the Opposition BJP in the council, the Mayor and the chairpersons of various standing committees had not consented to remove the petty shops.

Mr. Ashraf had opposed the idea stating that most of the people in Mangalore were poor and a majority of them eked out a living through petty shops.

According to an estimate, the city has over 10,000 petty businessmen. The city, Mr. Ashraf told The Hindu, did not have hawking zones and the petty businessmen put up shops on empty land.

Mr. Ashraf said without providing an alternative means of earning to petty businessmen, the bureaucrats could not evict them jeopardising their means of livelihood.

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