MLA, corporator face off over eviction of vendors

The shops that were demolished by the GVMC in Old Town area.  

Ward 39 corporator Sadiq Mohammed and Visakhapatnam (South) MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar are at loggerheads over the eviction of 16 vendors in Old Town area of the city. The vendors in the Old Town area were evicted by GVMC, around 10 days ago.

While the MLA claims that the vendors, who have been running makeshift shops in the vicinity of MVDM High School for the last four decades, were evicted without prior notice or a rehabilitation plan, the corporator says the action was carried out in accordance with GVMC procedures.

The interesting aspect to this clash between the corporator and the MLA is that both of them owe allegiance to the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). While Mr. Mohammed is a party loyalist, Mr. Ganesh Kumar who was with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) switched his loyalties to the YSRCP last year.

Mr. Sadiq said that the MCDM High School was renovated at a cost of ₹55 lakh under the State government’s ‘Nadu Nedu’ scheme, and the makeshift shops beside the school were proving to be a menace to the students, teachers and parents.

“Some of the shops were selling tobacco products and contraband like drugs and ganja. Anti-social elements were smoking in front of the school and there were incidents of eve-teasing. Even teachers were not spared and some time back, a few drunk youth barged into the principal’s cabin and threatened her,” Mr. Sadiq alleged.

Countering the allegations, the MLA said that there were no such incidents and if that was the case, why did the police not intervene.

According to Mr. Sadiq, the police were informed and 13 cases were booked and are pending in the One Town Police Station, including a couple of ganja peddling cases.

Mr. Sadiq also said that the rehabilitation of the vendors has been taken care of and an alternative location has been identified for rehabilitating them. “I have even promised to give each of the vendors ₹10,000 from my funds, to enable them to build their shops and resume their livelihood,” he said.

The corporator pointed out that the decision to evict them was not taken overnight.

“It was taken up after a detailed deliberation in the council. The decision was based on complaints received from parents, teachers and students,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 8:26:27 AM |

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