Special Correspondent

Seeking direction to authorities to remove encroachments on 3 streets

“Authorities seeking to appropriate portions on either side of streets for relocating hawkers”

High Court directs Chennai Corporation to file an affidavit

CHENNAI: Residents of three streets in T. Nagar have filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the official authorities to remove all encroachments and other obstructions in the streets.

In the common petition, the Mangesh Street Residents’ Welfare Association represented by R. Ramani, R. Mohan of Rangan Street, and residents of Ramanathan Street represented by A.R. Rajagopalan, submitted that there was unlawful interference by the authorities in the normal life of the residents of the three streets.

20 feet wide

The streets had a width of only 20 feet.

The official authorities were seeking to appropriate portions on either side of the three streets for relocating hawkers and street vendors.

The inaction by the respondents in clearing encroachments on Usman Road and the surrounding areas had, as it is, resulted in hardship and inconvenience to the residents in the vicinity and in particular the residents of the three streets.

Flyover

While so, the recent construction of a flyover on Usman Road, T.Nagar, in an attempt to ease traffic congestion, had resulted in forcible removal of the encroachers on either side of the flyover between Panagal Park and the Siva Vishnu temple.

Even as the residents of the three streets were heaving a sigh of relief on the prospect of the area being cleared of encroachments, they were now shocked to find that the respondents were earmarking spaces on either side of the streets for relocating the encroachers and roadside vendors.

Misuse of official position

The petitioners said that the action of the respondents in encouraging encroachments and relocation of hawkers was a blatant misuse of their official position and was contrary to the statutory mandate.

When the matter came up on Thursday, the court directed the Chennai Corporation to file an affidavit as to whether the hawkers could be accommodated under the flyover.

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