The demolition drive to clear encroachments at Super Market in Dharwad, which was suspended a fortnight ago due to objection from shopkeepers and Opposition party leaders, was carried out and completed on Saturday.
The officials and staff of the Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) carried out the demolition drive under police cover removing encroachments by nearly 200 shops at the Super Market . Earthmovers were pressed into service and civic workers were engaged to clear the debris and also to remove small encroachments.
All the structures that were built encroaching upon the road and drain were removed during the drive. Although there is a 40 feet wide road in the Super Market area, it was reduced to just around eight feet as shopkeepers extended their shops covering the drain and road. Consequently, the narrow stretch resulted in crowding and blocked vehicular movement.
All these structures that had been built encroaching upon the road were removed on Saturday. Assistant Commissioner of HDMC R.M. Kulkarni said that nearly 200 shops had extended their shops through various structures and all of them were removed on Saturday.
Like earlier, the shopkeepers again tried to stop the demolition drive on Saturday also. However, the police prevented them and allowed the drive to be carried out successfully.
Mr. Kulkarni said that because of encroachments, COVID-19 protocol could not be maintained as the narrow road led to overcrowding. People too had petitioned the municipal corporation to clear the encroachments, he said.
The municipal corporation has already decided to lay a concrete road in the Super Market area and construct new and big drains so that rainwater did not enter the market during the rainy season. It may be recalled that during heavy rain, the Super Market area gets inundated on a regular basis.