Shopkeepers protest against the move, want them restored by Monday
MANGALORE: The Mangalore City Corporation’s demolition squad, razed about 200 shops in different parts of the city, especially in the crowded market areas, in the early hours of Wednesday.
Armed with bulldozers, excavators, trucks and about 50 men, the squad uprooted stalls in the Central Market and Lady Goshen Hospital areas, State Bank, Urva, Mallikatta, Kadri and on some narrow roads. According to the officials, the drive would continue for the next few days.
The officials said the need for clearing encroachment on the footpaths, narrow roads and traffic intersections had been felt by the district administration and the Mangalore City Corporation. The encroachment of footpaths was forcing pedestrians on to the roads. As a result, vehicular traffic was being disrupted.
According to the Mangalore City Petty Shop Owners’ Association, the shops were not hindering pedestrians or vehicular traffic. The corporation had razed their shops and removed push carts without any notice. The move had not only jeopardised their livelihood but also inflicted financial loss. The association members, led by Ivan D’Souza, held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. D’Souza said it was an attack on the livelihood of the poor. The corporation should not have decided to evict them without making alternative arrangements for their business.
He said the corporation should have created hawking zones in the city where petty shopkeepers could have been given kiosks. Mr. D’Souza said the corporation should restore all the shops to their owners by Monday or the association would intensify its agitation.