People removing encroachments on their own in Hubli

The demolition drive seems to have had an impact on people, especially those who have put up petty shops in prime areas

Staff Correspondent

HUBLI: Though there is a week's time before the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation resumes its demolition drive, it is believed that some areas may be spared as the residents have themselves started removing encroachments.

The demolition drive carried out in some areas of Hubli seems to have had an impact on the people, especially on those who have put up petty shops in prime areas. It is said that many of them have removed the shops on their own.

Some people believed that their shops would not be touched because of their political clout. But with the attempt to get the Commissioner of the corporation, P. Manivannan, transferred coming a cropper, they are having second thoughts and many of them are removing the encroachments on their own.

"If the bulldozer arrives on the scene, we will be at the receiving end. Even if the encroachment is marked, we are scared that the machine might end up pulling down the entire structure. If we do it on our own, at least the damage will be minimum," a shopkeeper said.

Some have even gone a step ahead and requested the corporation to lend earthmovers so that their job becomes easier.

"We have stopped the demolition drive for now. But people themselves are asking us to lend the earthmoving equipment so that encroachments can be cleared. We are looking into the requests," Mr. Manivannan said.

He said the purpose behind giving some time before resuming the demolition is to give people a chance to remove the encroachments on their own. "Such a move will not only save time but also expedite the construction of pavements," he added.

Meanwhile, the corporation officials have started conducting a survey of various roads in Dharwad to list encroachments.

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