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Monday, February 13, 2012

Chakrata Road traders in dire straits

Total confusion at MDDA office; Fear of problem lingering on

Dehradun, February 13
The financial crisis has deepened for the shopkeepers of Chakrata Road. They are losing business since the last two months. They fear the issue of their settlement may drag for the next four to six months. The state government is also not compensating them for the losses.
In case they begin running their shops on Chakrata Road, even at the remaining portions left after the demolition process, the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) will not allow them to put shutters outside their shops. It has also not clarified how much space they are supposed to leave in front of their shops and consider the rest as part of their shops. There is so much confusion around that the shopkeepers are running to (MDDA) office all the time. The MDDA, officers, too keep giving several statements on a single issue compounding the entire dilemma further.
Yusuf , shopkeeper, said the traders of Chakrata Road had asked MDDA for a paltry monthly compensation of Rs 15,000 for each of them till the issue of their settlement was fully settled but nothing happened. “With little land I have on Chakrata Road after demolition, I would not be able to run a shop after leaving two metre space. The new shopping complex is not ready yet. How long can we survive in such conditions,” he asked.
Ravinder Rawat, another shopkeeper, said the they were not ready to move in the new shopping complex until they got registry of their shops in hand. “The shopkeepers will have to spend Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to build platforms and furnish their shops in the new complex. It is quite possible that if the Congress comes into power in the state, it may order fresh allotment since many of the traders are not happy with the allotment. It can also order a probe into the previous allotment. In such a scenario, the money spent on new shops would be a sheer wastage and the time thus taken would stretch to four to six months. This will break the back of the already distraught shopkeepers,” he said.
The shopkeepers are thus appealing to MDDA officers to issue them the registry of their shops and clear all the policy bottlenecks with regard to their land on Chakrata Road so that this issue could come to an end before the poll results. But the endless confusion at MDDA office continues. The shops allotted to shopkeepers are still being changed.
The shop number 50 allotted to Usha Gupta, owner of a shop of electrical items, was changed to 63. She was upset for being pushed behind. The officers are still assuring those shopkeepers who are complaining about getting smaller areas than what they had at Chakrata Road by compensating them with land at the new shopping complex. It is difficult to assess how long this problem will persist.

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