The site left vacant after pulling down a dilapidated municipal shopping complex at the central bus stand here has become a dumping yard for vendors.
Besides setting up makeshift shops on pavements, the vendors dump waste on the land, which remain uncleared. Cesspools formed thereby affect the environment at the bus stand and commuters complain of foul odour emanating from the garbage.
According to sources, the Cuddalore Municipality demolished a disintegrated wing of the shopping complex with a view to constructing a new one. However, the initiative of the municipality has run into rough weather owing to litigation. A stand-off between the civic body and the earlier allottees of these shops has made the vendors utilise the space to their advantage.
Municipal chairman T. Thangarasu said that before the demolition, the evacuees staked claim for priority in allotment of shops in the new building. But, there was a legal tangle involved in this regard - municipal rules stipulated that shops could be only auctioned and not allotted.
Fearing that the proposed new complex would be beyond their reach, as they might lose their stake in the auction, the shopkeepers had moved court and got a stay on any construction activity.
Mr. Thangarasu said that only after the court gives its verdict, the municipality could proceed in this matter. However, he categorically said that until then, efforts would be made to keep the surroundings clean. He proposed to deploy adequate number of sanitary workers regularly to keep the place neat.