Khanna, March 15, 2015: In Guru Amar Dass Market owners of booths and SCOs are cashing huge benefit of the alleged negligence of local administrative authorities and they have almost totally flouted the allotment rules and regulations framed by the concerned Improvement Trust Department while allotting these booths and SCOs. Corridors constructed to facilitate the visitors and general public have been converted into part of shops by the shopkeepers and some of them have developed basements under their shops which were a total violation of allotment norms. Many shopkeepers had covered corridors by installing iron grills and had raised permanent cement-brick walls to add up the corridors space to their shops. It indicates that there is no fear of law to these encroachers.
PD Bansal, President Lok Sewa Club, alleged that these all the illegal encroachments are going on from several years under the nose of concerned local administrative authorities but they never tried to implement the allotment norms in the public interest.
NGOs Legal Advisor Paramjit Singh Bal (Advocate) said that as per allotment norms corridors are constructed for public convenience and any shopkeeper has no right to cover the corridor. These encroachments on public corridors are totally illegal and it is the onus of local administrative authorities that nobody should be allowed to grab the public rights and these illegal possessions should be immediately evacuated.
Illegal Encroachments Increases Road Side Accidents:
Bansal said as per information obtained from Executive Officer, Nagar Council Khanna, under RTI Act-2005, any vendor has been not permitted to encroach the parking space and Nagar Council do not charge any fee from the vendors. Moreover, the parking contractor is also not allowed to use the parking compound for any other purpose except parking the vehicles. Whereas, vendors had covered a lot of parking space and they are claiming that they pay fee on daily basis to park their Rehri-Faree and Stalls to someone.
Bansal maintained that due to these illegal encroachments, there is no sufficient space for car parking and hence people park their vehicles by road sides on the G.T road which leads to traffic jam and serious road side accidents. Bansal added that if somebody charges money from vendors to park their Rehri-Faree and Stalls that is totally illegal.
Cycle Parking and Restaurant Turned into Shops:
As per approved demarcation plan obtained from Improvement Trust a public cycle parking and hotel-restaurant was proposed to be constructed in this market to facilitate the visitors and general public but ignoring public facilities the concerned local administration had converted cycle parking and hotel-restaurant to extra shops to enhance their income. Bansal said, yet the clarification is pending that the said changes in the plan have been made with the permission of higher authorities of the department or the local administration had misused their powers.
Bansal maintained that their NGO will appeal to Local Administration to remove these all the illegal encroachments at the earliest so that people may be facilitated and road side accidents may be minimised but if the authorities did not take any initiative in this concern we will approach to High Court for justice in the larger public interest through a public interest litigation.
As per information obtained from Executive Officer, Nagar Council Khanna, under RTI Act-2005, they had not permitted any vendor to cover the parking space and Nagar Council do not charge any fee from the vendors. Moreover, the parking contractor is also not allowed to use the parking compound for any other purpose except parking the vehicles.
Bansal claimed that as per 2nd information procured by Public Information, Improvement Trust Khanna under RTI Act-2005, there are 181 Booths and 32 SCOs (Shop-Cum-Office) in this market allotted by the department. Corridors are constructed for public facility and nobody is allowed to construct a basement under his shop as per allotment letter.
When contacted EO Khanna Charanjit Singh said that they will look into the matter and the land allotted for parking will not allowed to be encroached. He said that they have asked the shopkeepers not to occupy illegal space and now they will take help from Local Administration to remove these encroachments.